Young alum creates iPad user experience improvement (w/ Video)

May 24, 2012 By Kristen Shaw

(Phys.org) -- When Daniel Hooper became frustrated with editing text on his iPad, he wrote an application that could revolutionize the way users select and arrange their words on tablets. 

“I see the iPad as the future of computing, and I think a couple years down the road it will be the only thing most people own,” said Hooper, who earned a bachelor’s degree in computational media from the Institute in May. “Because of that I feel a lot of things need to get better — particularly for me, editing text.”

The so-called “Hooper Selection” uses the keyboard to select, copy and paste text, rather than having the user highlight on the text itself. Hooper demonstrates the method in a YouTube video that has garnered more than 600,000 views and drawn attention from media outlets. As for the name, Hooper himself can’t take credit. 

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

“Another developer emailed me saying they had made a Wikipedia page,” he said. “He was concerned so many people were copying the work that I wouldn’t be remembered as the creator. The name is kind of dorky and still sounds weird to me, but it works.”

Hooper, who himself is an iPad and iPhone owner, has been working on iOS development since his freshman year at Tech. Last fall he created a game called Percepto, and Hooper Selection emerged as a project for his digital humanities course last spring.

“It’s sort of a bland thing, text editing, but it’s so key to everything you do. Regardless of the app, you’re probably typing at some point.” 

Regardless of whether Apple implements the idea, Hooper hopes it inspires all companies to put more time and research into this aspect of the tablet user experience. He’s already seen some third-party developers use it in their applications. 

“I put the video out there hoping people would think it was cool and, at the very least, make them unhappy with the current state even if this isn’t the solution. I enjoyed using my prototype so much that I thought, other people probably want this, but it’s something Apple would have to do since it’s kind of a system-level thing.” A modified version of Hooper’s idea by another developer has been made available to those willing to jailbreak their phones, but nothing from Apple has been implemented at this time.

Hooper’s interest in programming stemmed from early days of assembling LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics kits, growing into an interest in video games and eventually design at Tech. He soon departs for a multi-week, post-graduation Eurotrip, but, for the tablet’s safety, will likely leave his behind.

Explore further: Catch the northern lights with your mobile

Related Stories

iSchool prof predicts the future of search user interfaces

Nov 07, 2011

School of Information professor Marti Hearst predicts the future of online search interfaces in an article in this month’s edition of the Communications of the ACM. “The future of user interfaces will involv ...

Augmented reality in an iPhone app

Jun 20, 2011

Imagine you’re in a museum, and you can point your iPhone camera to a painting or an object in an exhibit and instantly get additional information about what you’re looking at. This is what PixLive, ...

Dark matter could provide heat for starless planets

Apr 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a recent paper posted at arXiv.org and submitted to Astrophysical Journal, Dan Hooper and Jason Steffen, physicists at Fermilab in Illinois, present the theory that cold and dark planet ...

iPhone and iPad with iOS 4 records your moves (w/video)

Apr 20, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Security researchers have discovered that any iPhone or iPad that has been updated with iOS 4 records everywhere you have been to a secret file. The file is also copied to the owner’s ...

Recommended for you

Catch the northern lights with your mobile

Jan 26, 2015

Updates on the best opportunities to spot the Northern Lights in the UK are now available on a mobile phone app developed in association with scientists at Lancaster University.

App improves the safety of blind pedestrians in cities

Jan 22, 2015

Siemens is developing a system that helps blind and visually impaired people walk safely through cities. In cooperation with the Technical University of Braunschweig and several partners, Siemens is working ...

Nadella: Microsoft aspires to get consumers 'loving Windows'

Jan 22, 2015

Microsoft upped its bid to capture the hearts and minds of technology consumers Wednesday with Windows 10, announcing everything from free upgrades for the majority of Windows users to support for nascent holographic dis ...

WhatsApp adds messaging from Web

Jan 21, 2015

The popular mobile messaging application WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook last year for nearly $22 billion, unveiled a new service Wednesday for sending messages from a Web browser.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wealthychef
not rated yet May 24, 2012
Yay! I want it and it works. I hope people deluge Apple with this as a feature request. I hate the way selecting is done right now. Apple used to be really careful about their interface but I feel they have gotten sloppy of late.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.