Mobile Browser Touch Events: Nice if you can get them

I’m currently attending the OpenLayers Mobile Development Code Sprint in Lausanne, and finding myself completely frustrated by lack of any kind of reasonable touch / drag events for non iOS/Android browsers.

I was hoping that more than four months after the last update to QuirksMode’s table of touch events that it would be possible to report that browser had improved, but it appears that my hopes were misplaced.

IE on WP7, released in November? No touch events. (There is some talk about them existing in some various Microsoft presentations, so maybe this will come in whatever version of IE they ship on the next release of WP7… but who knows when that will be.)

Symbian’s browser on the E7? No touch events. Opera Mobile on any platform? No touch events. Firefox browser on Maemo? No touch events.

OpenLayers now has support for touch events in the browser — and more than 60% of mobile users won’t be able to take advantage of it.

Last year, in February, the author of the QuirksMode report said that “Any browser that does not support the touch events by the end of 2010 is out of the race.” As far as support for rich mobile mapping experiences go: I absolutely agree. It’s time to get your browsers in shape.

Edit: As a followup to this, someone on Twitter mentioned that “Firefox 4 Beta Adds Multi-touch Support http://on.mash.to/h4suCB”. Great! I even went ahead and flashed my N900 to PR 1.2 so I could actually use it. And what did I find out? No touch support. Further research shows that not only is there no touch support on anything other than Windows 7 (!!), *Mozilla created their own events for touch*. So instead of using the somewhat standard touchstart, Mozilla uses MozTouchDown, MozTouchMove, MozTouchUp. Ah well. More heartbreak.

4 Responses to “Mobile Browser Touch Events: Nice if you can get them”

  1. Tweets that mention Technical Ramblings » Blog Archive » Mobile Browser Touch Events: Nice if you can get them -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christopher Schmidt, TargetGIS. TargetGIS said: Mobile Browser Touch Events: Nice if you can get them http://bit.ly/hSTw4o (From crschmidt.net) [...]

  2. Espen Says:

    This sounds like 1998 to me…

  3. blakjak Says:

    i just installed firefox mobile on my desire, first thing I went to try was my multitouch
    testing page, complete fail. no use to me without touch events.

  4. John Says:

    Yes, it took a long time before every browser actually started supporting touch events, and I agree that it should have happened way sooner. But then again, smartphones really started becoming a real thing only after 2011, so there was no need for developers to work on features very few people could use.

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