Nokia Asha uses swipes for some platform features that cannot be disabled:
- Swipe from the top opens the notification panel
- Swipe from the bottom opens the Options menu (this will only apply to apps that are using Commands); if Options menu is not there, nothing happens with the bottom swipe.
- Swipe from either side closes the currently open MIDlet
Note that the swipes will also react to rotation changes; this means that in landscape the Notification panel will open from the long edge, and exiting the app would happen with a swipe from the short edge. So basically the terms ‘top’, ‘bottom’ and ‘sides’ also rotate (assuming that the MIDlet is following rotation). If you only support either orientation, lock your screen with the Orientation API. This way the swipe remains consistent for the user.
This is something to be especially aware of when designing game controls; you don’t want to take the risk of the user accidentally closing the game in the middle of game play, do you?!
So when using flick or drag as a game control, leave a 25 pixel margin of non-touchable area on all edges of the screen; this way it’s less likely that the user will accidentally close the app.
Having tappable UI elements close to the edges (e.g., button A and button B in the lower left and right corner) shouldn’t be an issue, but do test: test it yourself, but also ask a couple of your friends to try it out. If the app gets closed by accident, move the buttons a bit further from the edges and try again.
Psst… If you don’t have a test phone at hand, use Nokia’s Remote Device Access services!
We’re working on some game design guidance for Nokia Asha; let me know if you have any specific questions about the topic. We’ll try to include those in the guidelines.