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Touchscreens 101: Resistive vs Capacitive


[HTC Hero has a capacitive // palm Treo Pro has a resistive]

Hello readers it’s me once again and since there has been an on going trend of touch screen devices I have taken it as my geeky duty to explain the differences between the 2 dominant kinds.

Resistive – These work on resistance (i.e. pressure) when you use a stylus or your finger two thin films on the screen connect and finish a circuit this charge is then interpreted as an input.

Capacitve – These work on capacitance (i.e. charge) each person has a small charge and with this technology the screen has a field which when interrupted registers as an input.

Here are examples of devices with resistive screens:

Most Windows Mobile Professional devices (to date only the HTC Touch HD2 has WM & capacitive screen)

On the capacitive side:

We have the iPhone and Android devices

The plus side for resistive is that you can use them even with gloves on as they are based on pressure on the screen. You cannot do this with capacitive screens as I learned when I was trying to use my 3GS & Hero with gloves. The plus side for capacitive is an input will not register unless it is charged so if you poke the screen with a pen or keys inside your pocket it will not register because that doesn’t have a charge. Again both technologies have it’s plus and minus.

Most people say capacitive is better for touch interfaces and resistive is better for hand writing recognition but to be honest I do not think the regular consumer can spot the difference any more. Resistive screens are so good now (don’t believe me? look at the Omnia II from Samsung and any modern HTC device). I think the way input is registered is secondary to how it is interpreted. In the case of Apple they are touting multi-touch, the rest of the mobile OS can also support this except it is under Apple’s patent. Here we see how patents screw up the experience for everyone else.


  1. thank you .. now I have a clear picture !!!!!!! thx Jo.

  2. you're welcome and thanks for reading :)


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I just wanted to share some stuff I learned over at xda-dev's forum today.
Anyway as the title states this is about today themes and Orientation Aware Backgrounds. It's really quite simple
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stwater [Start Menu Image] = 399 x 586 image
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