Touch interaction

The touch UI in Symbian Belle is designed to enable full task flow with touch, without the need to switch to hardware keys. Thus, the design ensures that users can complete a task with the chosen interaction method (keys or touch) from start to finish. The touch UI offers some usability benefits compared to (or on top of) keyboard use.

The basic touch interaction is achieved through short taps and long taps. In a short tap, the finger is touched down and lifted up again on the same item in a short period of time (an item can be selected from a list with a short tap, for example). A long tap performs specific actions when the finger is held down on a component for a set amount of time. For more information, see Touch down and hold.

Note: The drag and drop functionality is not supported by Symbian Belle as an integrated part of the style, but it is supported in some selected applications such as moving items in the Menu.

Table: Touch events
Touch type Description

Touch down

The following actions take place on touch down:

  • Highlight appears to the item.

  • If there is a button under the finger, it appears as pressed down.

  • Scrolling is activated if there is a scrollbar.

Touch release

The following actions take place on a touch and release:

  • The menu command under the finger is activated.

  • The button that was pressed down is released and the corresponding function is performed (unless it is a latching button as in a toolbar).

Touch down and cancel

Placing the finger down on an object and then dragging before lifting the finger cancels any action on the object. However, it is possible to drag the finger outside the component and back onto it again, lifting it up on the component, which performs the appropriate action.

Touch down and move

Users can place the finger on the screen and move it on the screen without lifting it. This kind of dragging can be used to:

  • Scroll lists and grids.

  • Select multiple objects in lists (see Touch based multiple selection).

  • Browse menu items. When the finger moves on a menu item, the item is focused and opens possible submenu panes. Lifting the finger performs the focused menu command.

  • Highlight text in appropriate editor fields (paint it).

  • Perform application-specific functions, such as drawing lines or dragging selections.

Using touch events in applications

For information on how to receive touch events using application and UI frameworks , see Window server events and Pointer events.