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REQ: Your vote and/or hack: make double-tapping a word start selection in Gingerbread

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By ajg23, Member on 19th January 2011, 07:29 AM
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As I posted to the Android project "issues" section [please vote it up: ], it's BAD for Android that you can't just double-tap a word to initiate a selection. In case you haven't used 2.3: Gingerbread's new cursor positioner is brilliant, but initating text selection requires you to tap and hold, THEN click "Select Word"...

Hoping someone can make a hack that will make this basic function work, and support the request at the above link so Google includes the function in the next update!

Not only does pretty much every other GUI support double-tapping a word, it is even supposed to be the case in Gingerbread! It clearly states in that the user can

>...quickly select a word by press-hold, then
>copy to the clipboard and paste.

>Pressing on a word enters a free-selection mode
> — the user can
>adjust the selection area as needed
> by dragging a set of bounding arrows...

Even if it worked as described, IT WOULD BE BETTER to initiate text selection with double-tap (at least as an alternative). Note the precedents:

Windows: double tap selects word
MacOS: double tap selects word
Linux: double tap selects word
Early Android: double tap selects word
iOS: double tap selects word
PalmOS: double tap selects word
WindowsCE: double tap selects word
PocketPC: double tap selects word
Windows Mobile: double tap selects word
Windows Phone 7: double tap selects word [?]

So clearly, especially for potential new users who feel everything is a little "different" in Android (leading to "I think I'll just get an iPhone"), I think it double-tapping a word should initiate a text selection and reveal the bounding arrows. The pop up context menu could appear in ADDITION to the bounding arrows--then the user can select something from the pop-up or adjust the selection first...
19th January 2011, 07:59 AM |#2  
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Seattle, WA
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Honestly, as someone who many people in a university/hospital system look to for mobile device recommendations, there are multiple, EASY-TO-FIX obstacles to me being able to recommend Android devices to non-geeks. Things like having to go through multiple steps to initiate text selection is one of them. People should be able to double-click like they do in every other GUI and then be delighted by the appearance of the bounding arrows!

An even worse example is that the Android email program does not allow the user to enter an IMAP root folder path, so no one in my entire hospital/university system can access email via it. (Thousands of students, residents, nurses, docs, etc, etc!) Yes, I can tell them to get the K-9 app and help them set it up, but that's another hurdle that will make people think "I'll just get an iPhone"! They should be able just to use the default email program and enter the mail server info and get their mail.

These kinds of things are why I'm moving more towards telling colleagues to get iPhones these days ... It kills me how successful Verizon's iPhone is going to be, even though the network it will use is slower than AT&T's...!

If you want to support Android being more approachable to non-geeks, please vote for:
--fixing text selection at
--fixing the IMAP problem at

30th January 2011, 01:50 AM |#3  
OP Member
Seattle, WA
Thanks Meter: 0
Cool Clarification!
I'm talking about double-tapping texxt in text EDITING boxes, not in web browsing!

So when you have a field where you are entering text, double-tapping a word should select the word.
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