Thursday, May 20, 2010

Short / long press on a file

Hi there my dear visitors!

This time I really need your feedback, as this issue will directly impact the behavior of the application. As seen in the previous post on the mockup, there's no 'Open this file' nor 'Browse this directory', since I have concluded these would be normally what you wish to do when you tap/touch/click a file/folder. Long press, on the other hand, invokes a context menu to Share a folder with other people, or Publish (a file) via Ubuntu One, then you can copy or share the link options etc.

Question is: how would you want a short tap/touch to act upon a file on your Android Ubuntu One app? Would you think of opening it (point-and-shoot scenario ;) ), or perhaps (since you're using a mobile device) there are options you would be more probable to expect after short tap, like publish a file or remove it?

To rephrase one last time: do you want to open a file with a short tap/touch while long-press pops a menu to publish, delete; or do you want to pop a menu with the list of options (and maybe some additional info about the file) after any (short/long) press on a file?

Please leave your comments below. I will appreciate any constructive critique. (If you have used Android Dropbox application before, please note that or make sure your opinion is not influenced by you wanting to have the same behaviour as Db does.)

Thank you!


  1. I think the first version (normal click opens a file, long click opens context menu) is more convenient and android-like. Just my 2 cents ;-).

  2. Thanks for the comment Karol. I'd love to see more comments here, ppl please don't hesitate to speak your mind :)

  3. I agree with Karol in that short press should open the file. Questions: What file types would be supported for immediate open, and what would happen if a certain file type (extension) isn't supported or unrecognized? I've not used Ubuntu One before, so perhaps that is not a valid question.

    I have used Android Dropbox briefly, but don't really recall its behaviors.

  4. Thanks for your comment Trung!

    Regarding the file type - that's a good question. It will be the Android to decide which application handles opening the file, e.g. if you tap a png/jpg/bmp it may be handled by the picture viewer, and so on. If you don't have a proper application installed, the file will be downloaded to your phone anyway, so that you can push it onto a computer and open it there, for example. Something along that line.

  5. I too agree with Karol, seems quite intuitive to me that a short tap opens a file and a long tap gives you more options.
    I think switching this behavior would be like creating a desktop application where a left mouse click opens a context menu, and a right click opens a file.

    I'd like to suggest an option for the context menu. It would be nice if you could create an 'open with...' option, however i'm not familiar with the android sdk, so i don't know if that's possible.

  6. @Bavo

    Your second sentence - the question was more about if any type of tap on a file (short/long) should pop a menu (and thus make more options easily discoverable), rather than swapping short/long tap behaviour :) But I get your point anyway, I prefer it that way (the 'natural' way) also.

    About the 'open with..' option - no need, Android will handle that automatically suggesting all-compatible applications on your phone, to open that file :) (e.g. your custom picture-editting app)

  7. Yeah, that is until you check "Always use this" (or something similiar, my phone is in dutch so it is roughly translated)

    From that moment on it will always use the same app. unless you go to the global settings and unset it.

  8. @Bavo

    Yes, that is exactly the way it works :)

  9. So that's where my suggestion comes in :)

    Imagine the following scenario:
    I chose to open with Gallery standard.

    So when I click a .jpg file it opens immediately in Gallery, i like this behavior, but i have this image i'd like to edit with MyPictureEditor.
    It would be nice to have an option to open the menu you'd normally get when there is no standard application for a filetype.

    But again: i don't know if that's even possible. And I get that it is definitely not a priority.

  10. @Bavo

    It is possible :) I can include that in the future plans for the app, but you must be aware it means no sooner than ~half a year ;)