updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue February 2, 2010
Nexus One update adds pinch zoom, Goggles
Google today surprised Nexus One owners by adding multi-touch through an over-the-air update. The feature now turns on pinch-to-zoom in the web browser as well as in Maps and the photo gallery. It also supplies a fix for 3G reception issues on T-Mobile.
Some of Google's own apps have been given improvements as part of the download. It now makes Goggles camera-based searching a built-in app and enables syncing of search data between the website and the Nexus One. Those who depend on Maps Navigation for GPS routing now get a night mode that automatically transitions to a darker color scheme at an appropriate time of day.
Owners should get an automatic notification about the update on their phones when it's ready to download.
The multi-touch addition is a first for any reference Android phone and hints at a possible easing of tensions between Google and Apple. While never publicly confirmed, many rumors have circulated that Apple was asking Google to withdraw multi-touch apps from phones like the Nexus One and Droid when sold in the US due to real or perceived patent concerns. The Droid's international equivalent, the Milestone, has had multi-touch in all its apps, and third-party apps are technically allowed to use multi-touch on Android 2.x devices.