Friday, April 23, 2010

iPad Max Touches

One thing I've been curious about for a while is what is the extent of the iPhone's ability to detect and track multiple touches. On the original iPhone, I've been able to detect and track 5 touches, though my fingers are large enough that I rarely could get it to recognize more than 4 distinct touches.

On the iPad, we've got a much bigger screen that will let all ten fingers touch at the same time without running together.

So, can the iPhone SDK track 10 fingers at once? Yep. It sure can. I wrote a simple program to just record the count of the touches set provided to the four UIResponder touch-related methods, and it had no problem identifying and tracking 10 separate fingers at the same time.

I don't know what the hardware or software limitations are on Apple's multi-touch technology, but it seems to be high enough not to be an issue.



10 comments:

Noel said...

Yeah, that's one of the first things I tested on the iPad. Apparently it records up to 11 simultaneous touches.

A curious number indeed :-)

Jeff LaMarche said...

Yeah, after writing this, I got my son to help and 11 was the most we could get. Should be more than enough for most needs, though. I'm curious if this is a hardware or software limitation....

ChriB said...

On the iPhone and iPod touch all touches are cancelled as soon as the 6th finger is on the screen. At least that's what I experienced. I don't have an iPad yet (living in Germany), but I'm really interested in knowing if this is a hardware or software limitation.

Mostly Torn said...

Wish I remember which Apple doc it was in, but I'm pretty sure I had read the 11 number in one of the PDFs Apple provides regarding iPad development.

warmi said...

What I am wondering is how much of a performance hit you experience when tracking 11 fingers .. I haven't tried that yet but on the older devices tracking multiple touches in a CPU intensive app like a game, can easily bring down your fps quite a few notches ( and that's just for having these events reported to you ... let alone whatever logic you are executing in order to process them)

Matthew Frederick said...

I'd read that 11 was the max, too. Despite it sounding like more than enough, it's actually an issue for a multiplayer iPad game I'm working on; there was the potential for four people to touch the pad with 1, 2, or 3 fingers each. I've actually had to change the rules so that it's only 1 or 2 fingers in order to not push past the 11.

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honus said...

SplatterHD is a pretty good free app to try this out yourself (well with a friend if you want to get up to 11, or I guess you could use your nose).

puppetmasta said...

Very cool! Good to know!

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