In a World of iWanna, iPhone Does Touch Best

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone is facing challenges on all sides, and despite being the "older" technology – by just a few months – it's still got the most accurate touch screen when compared against three hotshot Android phones.

That's the results of a test by Moto Development Group, an independent group not in any way affiliated with Motorola.

The test used a simple drawing application. An analyst drew slow, diagonal lines across the screen to see how well it tracked his finger. The straighter the lines, the more accurate the phone.

When compared to the Motorola Droid, Motorola Eris and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus One, the iPhone proved the most accurate in tracking finger motions across its glass screen.

The Droid faired worst, while the Eris and Nexus One provide a "respectable" touch-screen performance, Moto said in its blog post on the tests.

This simple test exposed who had the best screens, Moto explained. "On inferior touchscreens, it's basically impossible to draw straight lines. Instead, the lines look jagged or zig-zag, no matter how slowly you go, because the sensor size is too big, the touch-sampling rate is too low, and/or the algorithms that convert gestures into images are too non-linear to faithfully represent user inputs," the company wrote.

A certain inaccuracy

In a video accompanying the report, Moto analyst Morgan said of screen accuracy, "What that amounts to is when you're using something like the [Droid touch-screen] keyboard, there's a certain inaccuracy," he said in a video demonstration. Touch on the Droid could be off by more than 3mm, which could result in the user typing the wrong key."

Performance on the iPhone, by contrast, "is really quite consistent," Morgan said.

All four phones did have one consistent area of weakness, and that is around the edges of the screen due to the lack of sensors. The Droid Eris and Google Nexus One handle these edges a bit better than the iPhone.

Moto claims to have 15 years of experience in capacitive touch interfaces and offered some advice for touch screen makers.

First: you get what you pay for; second, you need ample time to develop your algorithms, and make them in-house, don't outsource them; lastly, closely integrate touchscreen hardware, software, and user interaction development, and do so as early as possible in the product development process. Never treat them as separate tasks.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the internet.com network.


iPhone, Droid, nexus one, touchscreen