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Moto Droid in Europe gets multi-touch

updated 09:15 am EST, Mon November 2, 2009

Moto Milestone due for Europe Nov. 9

Motorola today confirmed an international version of the Droid that should also be the first Android phone with multi-touch. The Milestone uses a virtually identical design with an 854x480 touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi but switches to GSM, EDGE and HSPA for basic calls, 2G and 3G respectively. It currently doesn't support US 3G bands but should be available through at least O2 Germany (PDF) for the equivalent of $596 without a contract but with a discount.

Notably, the Milestone in a pre-release test appears to have built-in multi-touch input for features like the web browser. While Android 2.0 has the basic framework for multi-touch and is preloaded on both phones, the Droid only recognizes single inputs. The news suggests either that the Droid is releasing too soon for a full implementation or else that Google and Motorola have consciously removed multi-touch from the American phone. An unverified rumor claims that Google may be omitting the technology from the US to avoid patent disputes with Apple or to avoid direct competition.

The test phone also appears to omit Google Maps Navigation and may not have the feature for at least three months, although why this is the case is equally unknown. Google can provide directions in Europe but has only limited Street View support.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Bearcat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +1

    comment title

    "The news suggests either that the Droid is releasing too soon for a full implementation or else that Google and Motorola have consciously removed multi-touch from the American phone."

    You forgot to mention that Verizon could be the reason for the lack of multi-touch. That would be stupid on their part, but stranger things have happened.

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005

    0

    Software Patents

    It'll be down to software patents - there is no consistent European-wide law for software patents, and many countries specifically exclude software from being patented (an extension of the principle that you can't patent a mathematical algorithm or equation).

    (You can, on the other hand, patent a business process built on that software, so there is still plenty of room for ridiculous software related patents).

  1. thibaulthalpern

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    +2

    Sykes

    When they say "European" market, what type of keyboard are they going to use? France uses the AZERTY keyboard, Italy uses the the QZERTY, and other European countries use different renditions of QWERTY.

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