Tag Archives: Android

The Death of Pinch to Zoom and Landscape Mode

 I’m always brainstorming about the world of the Internet and it’s quirks, and how it’s constantly changing. This morning as I woke up, I was pondering upon the fact that it has become ever more frustrating when trying to use my iPhone 5s (which of course is a little bit of a small screen to use for searching the web).  

I was thinking, how more and more common it is becoming, that you arrive on the website, and find that you cannot use two fingers on the screen to pinch and zoom. 

I was then laughing to myself about how stupid the world is truly, that five years ago, all mobile devices were being advertised for their ability to use the touchscreen with two fingers to pinch and zoom.  This was indeed, a very useful aspect of touchscreen device use, due to the fact, that small screens need this feature to be able to read some of the very small text in websites.  

Pinch to Zoom

I then began to wonder if other people have noticed at all, that more and more websites have managed to put in code to block the pinch to zoom feature on mobile touchscreens. This is because of so many different screen sizes, and the web designers are avoiding having difficulty with displayIng  their websites. But isn’t it ironic? That five years ago everybody was enjoying the pinch to zoom feature, and that these days you can how do use it anymore because half of the websites you land on have actually deactivated the feature on your mobile device!

 And so we are now looking at the end of pinch to zoom, five years after it was introduced. I personally use it ever less, because it is less and less usable. The second feature which has become almost defunct, is the landscape mode on the iPhone.  

I remember when I got my first iPhone in 2011, many apps were able to be used in landscape and portrait mode and all websites were able to be used in both modes. Since then many websites have added a redirect, which senses you are arriving in your iPhone, and they put you on their mobile version of that site which forces a portrait mode. As for apps, I would say about 70% of apps have now completely deactivated the portrait mode and are not using the universal app method of development, and are forcing the iPhone into landscape mode just like you can see in the example of the famous Instagram app. For typing this is a hellish torture 

 I noticed this has even now become the case with Google search, that once you have made a search on an iPhone you cannot pinch to zoom the search results page it is static and tiny and unreadable for my old eyes even in landscape mode (which is still possible and Google search on an iPhone).  While Nerf google search would deactivates the pinch to zoom feature is beyond me and I can only put it down to the lack of innovative ability of their web interface designers who cannot seem to adapt their design to all sizes of mobile screens 

The reduction of the usage if pinch to zoom may however, also have something to do with a conspiratorial boycott against Apple’s 7.844.915 Patent Claim. The claim defines a rule about a touchscreen knowing when one finger is using a feature, amd two or more other fingers are doing something else simultaneously on the same screen. This issue has been raised in a court trial by Apple against the Samsung company, where they claim that Samsung have been copying the iPhone and other iOs devices.

Apple Patent 7.844,915
Apple Patent 7.844,915

Considering Google are the makers if the Android OS, They will also be on Samsung’s side in this matter, which explains why they have made their search page results impossible to pinch and zoom, at least on an Apple device.

A google spokesman made a statement about the Samsung case, saying “Apple claims a very specific software implementation, and the implementation is different with Jelly Bean”.

 

Whatever the true reasons are, and i suspect them to be multiple unrelated reasons, ranging from the conspiratorial and the corporate legal reasons, to the simple reasons of lazy webmasters avoiding complicating their webpage design solutions with variable screen size adaptation, it seems that Pinch to Zoom is no longer the Universally usable feature that first made small touchscreen devices usable as a web browsing tool.

As to Landscape mode in iPhone,  half the Apps on my iphone are forced into Portrait Mode, which makes them no pleasure at all to use, and so my iPhone is now more or less only used for three purposes: messaging in iMessage, Photos with the Camera, and of course, its original purpose.. For telephony.

Rest in Eternal Peace? Or does Reincarnation Exist for Pinch to Zoom and Landscape Mode?

Reincarnation of the Mobile Phone