Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
One of the few homages that the Palm Pre paid to the Palm Pilot was the gesture area, a separate part of the display face below the screen used for swipes just as the Pilot had a separate area devoted to entering Graffiti strokes. Unfortunately (like Graffiti before it), the gesture area was one of the least intuitive aspects of the Pre's operation, and HP has been moving away from it as a required navigation element. On the TouchPad
, the gesture area has been scrapped in favor of an iPad-like bottom button.
But HP hasn't outright ignored the bezel on the TouchPad. Users can still swipe inbound from the bezel as an alternative way of bringing up its card view. Indeed, in 2011, it seems like nearly everyone has been taking a swipe at the bezel around touchscreen displays. First, RIM introduced inbound bezel swipes as a key navigation element on the PlayBook for activating menus, bringing up applications to launch, and its own webOS-like app switching interface. Microsoft showed how inbound bezel swipes will be part of the navigation for touchscreen devices in Windows 8. And MeeGo also uses the inbound bezel swipe as its keystone user interface element on smartphones...