Feb 22 AT 1:51 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Google trackpad patent hints at Android for desktops


With Android 4.0, Google delivered a mobile operating system that was suited for all screen sizes. As we have already explored, you can almost replace your PC with an Android device, but there are still some things that Google needs to improve upon.

Google could target the desktop computing experience with Android 5.0, according to the latest patents discovered by Jack Purcher of PatentlyApple.

In the patent overview Google claims that their Android operating system has been designed for a touchscreen user interface and it may be beneficial to have it “implemented on more traditional devices, such as a desktop, netbook or laptop device that include physical keyboards and/or pointing devices, such as trackpad devices.”

We agree 100 percent. So does Ubuntu.

Android 4.0 already works quite well with a standard mouse, but the touchpad support is limited. Thankfully this latest patent describes multi-touch events like two-finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, and flinging content.

It will be interesting to see how Google implements trackpad support, but it appears that an Android smartphone or tablet could function as the trackpad when content is displayed on an external display. Some Android applications already allow you to convert your Android device into a mouse and keyboard for your PC, so it will be interesting to see how Google improves upon this.

With Google’s acquisition of Motorola almost complete, this could have interesting implications for Motorola’s webtop application that allows a smartphone to drive a desktop PC experience. Some have speculated that Google will implement webtop-like features into Android 5.0, which is something I have been predicting since last year.

One thing is for sure, Google clearly wants to bring their Android OS to as many devices as possible. Windows still has 70-80% market share on all web clients depending on the source, but smartphone sales already overtook client PCs in 2011, and that trend will continue to accelerate. In the next couple of years, we could see Android overtake Windows as the dominant operating system.

What areas of Android would you like to see Google improve upon before you would give up your desktop or laptop operating systems?

Source: PatentlyApple

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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