34 Weeks of OHA #28

Company Name: Synaptics, Inc.

How the OHA site classifies them: Semiconductor Company

What the OHA site says about them: Synaptics, Inc., providing easy-to-use interface solutions for mobile phones, personal media players, notebooks and PC peripherals, supplies a variety of user input solutions for mobile devices that make accessing digital content easy and fun.

What they do: They’re the touchpad folks. Got a laptop? Does it have a touchpad? Betcha Synaptics built it. They own more than 50% of the laptop market worldwide, and almost 100% of the US market.

I dare you to name another touchpad company. Go ahead. Try it. Okay, I’ll give you a hand: the other major manufacturers are Alps and Cirque. I had an Alps touchpad once. It sucked. It was kinda like a shark’s skin in that it would slice your finger right open if you rubbed it the wrong way.

Synaptics does more than just your straight-up rectangular laptop touchpad. They do ’em Round and Glowy and stuff. They do ’em with bumps and ridges and ribs for your pleasure. They’ll also put their touchpads in pretty much whatever device you want: iPods, UMPCs, etc. They’ve taken the touchpad concept beyond mouse emulation to drive those touch-sensitive illuminated strips many laptops are now sporting, often used for media control. They do proximity sensors. And, they do clear capacitive touchpads, or as we in the mobile world like to think of them, touchscreens.

What they bring to OHA and Android: From their press release of Nov. 12 announcing their invovlement in the OHA:

Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of capacitive-based human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications and entertainment devices, today announced that it is providing the software driver to enable touch interfaces for the Androidâ„¢ software development kit (SDK).

Not very exciting is it? Synaptic makes touchpads. Android needs to run touchpads. Synaptics makes drivers for Android. Everyone’s happy. There’s really not much to see here.

I’ll offer the obligatory quote from the OHA quotes page. In this case, it comes from Synaptics’ President and CEO, Francis Lee:

Synaptics is proud to be a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance. Our contribution to the Android platform will help bring dynamic touch UIs to everyone in the mobile market. By creating an open environment conducive to collaboration and partnering, the Alliance will allow key influencers to deliver innovative devices and services to meet the needs of the fast-changing mobile industry

Blah-blah.

There are no game-changing innovations gonna come outta this inclsion in the OHA. Synaptic doesn’t really seem to be bringing anyting new to the table. They just provide some drivers, get some face time out of the OHA inclusion, and get to be the first-choice touchpad provider on any new Android phone produced. Good for them.

And, honestly, probably good for Android. Synaptic is in the position they’re in because they make good stuff. Their touchpads are reliable, functional, and their ubiquity ensures that they always just work. That kind of no-brainer tech is something that a cross-platform OS like Android needs.

About author

AndroidGuys
AndroidGuys 4641 posts

Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

You might also like

News and Rumors

View photos with ease: QuickPic [App of the Day]

I’m always about changing up the defaul apps in ym phone if I’m unhappy with some of them. Photo galleries are usually nice, but there’s always something better on the

News and Rumors

Nielsen: 75% of 25-34 year-olds in U.S. now own smartphone

Three out of every four U.S. consumers age 25-34 now own a smartphone, according to a new report out of Nielsen   Up from 59 percent last year (July 2011), it’s the

News and Rumors

Smartphones Partners Working on ‘College SuperFans’ Apps for over 80 Universities

Smartphones Technologies has announced that they are currently working on creating college sports apps for over 80 different universities.  The apps will bear the name of  “College SuperFans” when they