We’ve been seeing a lot of issues surrounding support of the WM 6.5 gesture Input on newer Rugged PDA’s sporting WM6.5 or even WEH6.5 so I thought I’d do a quick help article on the gesture input element of Windows Mobile 6.5.
For those that don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, the gesture input is the way the Windows Mobile team implemented the finger friendly touch interface in an effort to provide a more iPhone-esq user experience, using your finger to “swipe” the screen and getting the OS to respond to those swipes. Gesture input on WM is far more basic though with very few input gestures being recognised. however swiping right and left are usually well implemented on devices and this alone has been enough to cause havoc with some customers.
Was that a gesture you just made?
The problem seems to be largely with Proof Of Delivery or signature capture. We love our touch resistive LCD’s in the rugged world, it means we don’t have to worry about expensive stylus’ to take signatures and if lost during the day then the back of a biro will do just fine (Make sure you have a screen protector though please!). However everything that worked fine and dandy on WM6.1 or even earlier versions of WM6.5 seems to not be the case with a range of WM5.6.3 Rugged PDA’s we have tested with various software. It seems that some software is recognising the swipes of a signature as gestures meaning you often can’t take a signature at all.
Gesture support was really made available in WM6.5.3 which is the most common build of WM6.5 we see on new rugged devices. In this build a lot of gesture and input support was made as a last gasp attempt by the old Windows Mobile team to drag WM into the modern world. All they really did was mess up an OS that was doing just fine in its Rugged Niche.
Looking beneath the bonnet, we see that gesture input is supported at a control level, so you really need to delve into code to access it and stop it working on the control you are using to take your signature, usually a bespoke one or picture control of some kind. We haven’t come across any devices yet that allow you to switch it off totally and this is probably the reason for that as it’s not really possible to do this.
If you find this kind of issue then come talk to us as we can help here, whether selecting a device with gestures taken out of them or we can explain to your software provider or team.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.