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I am planning on get a new android phone, and one of my options is the Xperia Miro. I know it is not big deal, but it fulfills my needs.

But one of the specs that got my attention is that it says here, that it only supports up to 2-finger multitouch. I've seen other phones, like Xperia J, and they also say that.

My question is, how much could i need more than 2 finger support?

For my experience, the majority of apps really don't use more than that, because the most common use of multitouch is simply pinch to zoom, turn pictures X degrees, etc, and they only need 2 touches. Even games mostly only use 2 touches max (afaik), for example shooters, typically use only left side for moving and right side for shooting, besides they are meant to be played using thumbs, so 2 fingers is enough.

So, if I get such phones with only 2 finger support, what will I be missing? What kind of apps NEED more than 2 fingers and what do they use them for? (Real examples would be nice).

I really can't think of any app that needs that, but i don't know.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

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  • I never used more than this either. But there are apps around where you can (not must!) use more, e.g. for gestures. But though this makes much sense (allowing for easy gestures with less strokes, especially if you need many), I never missed it.
    – Izzy
    Jan 22 '13 at 22:49
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I think that three or more touches are useful on tablets because actually it's hard to do so many touches on the small screen. From my experience I know these two applications:

  1. Simple keyboard. Yes, sometimes you can put tablet on the table and print with two hands like on real keyboard to improve writing speed.
  2. Any Piano Emulator. Same situation as above.
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It's kind of nice to be able to use 3 fingers in Fruit Ninja sometimes, although you need a decent size tablet to really make use of it. I highly doubt that you will miss out on anything if your device only supports 2-finger multitouch, however.

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  • 2
    I never thought this was possible, but I was really surprised when you could slice using 3 fingers. :D
    – geffchang
    Jan 23 '13 at 0:11
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In the moron test app, one of the challenges needs 4 finger multi touch. Can't remember if this is available on Android however.

Mainly only games would use this I believe.

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tl;dr: 2 fingers is more than enough!

There is no real need for more than 2 fingers on your screen. But there are some apps that allow more than 2 fingers (like already said in other answers: piano apps, keyboard apps etc). But I don't think that the number of allowed fingers should be one of your criteria not to take a phone. Especially if it is a phone, more than 2 fingers will not be necessary.

Although, some phones have added a special meaning to more than 3 finger actions. For example if you look at the HTC One X, this phone can attach a special meaning when you push with 3 fingers on the screen (start Media Link TV is the default behaviour).

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its very useful for advance users to quickly control system interactions.

I use 3 and 4 finger actions for things like:

  • 3 finger swipe down - same as pressing the back button
  • 3 f swipe up - for menu button
  • 4 f swipe down - to turn off the screen
  • 5 f tap 3 times - to kill an app, force close it
  • 4 f tap once - to switch/ toggle between the most recent apps
  • 4 f pinch - same as the home button
  • 4 finger swipe left to right - shows the volume menu so i can change any of the volumes.

The app i use to control all this is called, GMD Gesture Control - on a galaxy note 3.

It depends on your preferences, but i use all of the above every day and very rarely do i get any issues or false triggers. Of course the more gestures there are the more false triggers may occur.

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  • Guess you mean this app? Then maybe you should also mention it requires root? ;)
    – Izzy
    Jun 4 '14 at 7:05
  • yeah it would have been better to mention so, but i assumed the user would not require more info which was not directly related towards the question. next step would be to want to use more than 2 fingers :-P
    – user43961
    Jun 4 '14 at 7:27
  • Well, the requirement concerning how many fingers you must have to use them is rather obvious, I'd say :)
    – Izzy
    Jun 4 '14 at 7:37
  • Excelleent answer! I didn't know such kind of apps, I might try that one. Gestures are definitely a good use for more than 2 finger input. thanks!
    – DiegoDD
    Jun 4 '14 at 16:43
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You may need to use three or more fingers for cross-platform games, the ones that require an emulator(Eg. PSP emulator, Game Boy Advanced, etc.) Their controls usually require two, three or even more buttons to be pressed simultaneously.

If you don't play such games, two will be enough. Otherwise I would suggest atleast 5.

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Competitive Multiplayer games that are played with you on one side of the screen, your opponent on the other. On a phone, the screen is usually too small to enjoy that kind of gameplay anyway, so you don't really miss that much.

Finger gestures will be limited, though most apps that provide gestures usually provide multiple other mechanisms to access the features.

You don't miss that much really. At the moment, I only have one application that requires more than two finger: Magic Piano.

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