Thinking that this may be a system-wide setting rather than being specified within the app, is it possible to alter the sensitivity of sideways swiping?

For example, when scrolling through lots of search results in the eBay app, it is far too easy to accidentally swipe sideways to another column in the app, and after swiping back the previous position is lost. This drives me nuts and I think this is the most annoying things about the OS.

I'm hoping that the sensitivity setting for is in the registry, and therefore adjustable.

  • 1
    I hear you. There's an news app called Economic times that has the same issue. When I read an article and am midway through it, swipe by error takes me to a new article. Moving back to the article I was reading, I'm lost to where I left it. – Thomas Jun 9 '12 at 11:48

You are talking about two separate problems, so I'll answer them separately.

There is no system-wide setting for screen sensitivity. Like Joe mentions, it is app specific (even the Start Screen is an app), and the developer can do a couple things to change it. I talk about the GestureListeners in a comment on Joe's answer, but the other is a common mistake developers make and is simple to fix.

12px margin, yep, a margin...The margin is not just a visually pleasing guideline but is a functional one as well. If a developer doesn't stay 12px away from the edge of the screen, the gestureListener will see a swipe gesture when the user is just trying to hold the phone and read. Or they may be switching hands, so the slide of the skin across the edge will be interpreted as a swipe. You could ask the developer to increase their margins and that will cut down on unintended gestures.

The second question comment you mention is about when you go back to where you were after an unintended swipe, you have lost your page position. I agree, that is extremely annoying, but there has been a fix for that for a while. The developer should be saving page state when navigating away, I do it in my apps and consider it a must. There is a lot of documentation available for that feature and you could let the developers know they need to add it in the app (especially a big name like eBay).

  • Excellent. Thanks for this detailed explanation. – paradroid Jun 9 '12 at 14:00
  • BTW, is Tasks one of your apps? I use it all the time, but I have a couple of problems with it. – paradroid Jun 9 '12 at 14:02
  • No it's not, but you can try the Telerik Tasks app. If you want to see all my apps, search "Lancelot" in the Marketplace. Video Diary/Video Journal was picked to be advertised by Nokia & Microsoft =D I have other apps you may recognize ;) – Lance McCarthy Jun 9 '12 at 17:56
  • Ha, I see what you mean now. I have seen a couple of your apps (must have been a Most Downloaded list or something). – paradroid Jun 9 '12 at 18:41

Changing something like that can not be done by the user. That has to do with the hardware, and drivers for the phone. For now, at least, you just have to live with it.

If you find it is limited to just a single app, you could try to contact the developer and tell them. Perhaps they can try some work around.

  • +1 The developer of the app is the one who implements the control that is the container. ie PivotControl or PanoramaControl. There are out-of-the-box controls that MS provides with the sdk, thats why you may experience the same sensitivity across multiple apps. One big problem here is that the dev would have to break down the gesture recognition bits (a swipe is a gesture that is "listened" for), and lower the numbers that would be considered a gesture... that is no small feat. – Lance McCarthy Jun 9 '12 at 12:07

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