|Original author(s)||Anand Agarawala
Bump Technologies Inc.
|Initial release||April 8, 2009|
|Stable release||2.5 / March 31, 2010|
|Operating system||Windows XP and later, OS X 10.6 and later|
BumpTop is a desktop environment app that simulates the normal behavior and physical properties of a real-world desk and enhances it with automatic tools to organize its contents. It is aimed at stylus interaction, making it more suitable for tablet computers and handheld PCs. It was created at the University of Toronto as Anand Agarawala's master's thesis. Anand Agarawala also gave a presentation at the TED conference about his idea. The 1.0 version was released on April 8, 2009, along with a fully featured pro version as a paid upgrade. On April 30, 2010 the author announced that BumpTop was being discontinued and that they were taking the software "in an exciting new direction." Two days later, it was announced that the company had been acquired by Google. On January 5, 2011, Google released a sneak preview video of Android 3.0 Honeycomb showing a 3D desktop with features purportedly taken from BumpTop.
In BumpTop, documents are represented as three-dimensional boxes lying on a virtual desk. The user can position the boxes on the desk using the stylus or mouse. Extensive use of physics effects like bumping and tossing is applied to documents when they interact, for a more realistic experience. Boxes can be stacked with well-defined gestures. Multiple selection is performed by means of a LassoMenu, which fluidly combines in one stroke the act of lasso selection and action invocation via pie menus. BumpTop currently supports Windows XP, Vista, and 7, and a version for Mac OS X was released into private beta on January 18, 2010. The Mac edition omits the pie menu in favor of a more normal selection menu.
The software installer and the application phone home. While the download page on the official website does state: "Internet connection required for activation", this may not appear in other sources such as Cnet. There is no explicit dialog box asking the user to confirm this connection at the time it is required.
BumpTop automatically updates to the latest version.
With the release of BumpTop 1.2 on October 9, 2009, multi-touch support was added for Windows 7. It added 14 new gestures to the system that used multiple touches on the screen. One such gesture is “scrunching” your hand to pull files into a pile. Just like the regular version of BumpTop, the extensive use of physics is applied to these multi-touch gestures. Multi-touch support has since been added to Mac OS X as well.
Multi-touch support is currently only available in the Pro version of the software.
On August 18, 2009, BumpTop announced their new “BumpTop Inside” program. Partnering with HIS, PowerColor, and SAPPHIRE, a free copy of BumpTop will be included with their graphics cards. The reasoning behind the partnership was to allow BumpTop to be spread to more customers, as well as allowing BumpTop to use the power of the newly bought graphics card. “BumpTop creates a brand new user experience for computer desktops,” said Ted Chen, CEO of TUL Corporation. “We are excited to add this innovative application into our graphics solution. Backed by the power of PowerColor graphics, BumpTop will make the user experience more vivid and change the way the traditional computer desktop is used.”
BumpTop has been generally well received by critics, with many of them excited about the possibility of BumpTop's features becoming standard in GUIs. CNET Editor Seth Rosenblatt gave it 5 stars, citing that “it could push how we use our computers into a whole new dimension.” Thanks to the added multi-touch support, Engadget says that “Bumptop gives Windows 7 touchscreen PCs purpose.” CrunchGear simply says “BumpTop: A Better Windows desktop.” On BumpTop's website, they have 23 quotes of positive reviews from professional editors.
“This program is a real looker. When I showed it to friends, they immediately wanted to play with it, dragging pictures to pin on virtual walls and drawing circles around several icons at once to stack them into piles like magic. BumpTop is a pleasure to use and for no cost, the free version is certainly worth a try. If you like what you see and you're willing to change the way you use your desktop, the Pro version might be worthwhile.”
Acquisition by Google
In April 2010, it was announced that Bumptop had been acquired by Google. It was unknown what Google had planned for the software, though there were speculations about plans to revamp it for a new Android based tablet UI. Shortly after its acquisition, Bumptop announced plans to remove the software completely from its website, only giving "End of Life" support to those who bought the Pro version.
The server-side licensing and validation system was then removed from Google and users that had the licensed version got it reverted to the free version after some time. This actually made activating the software impossible without using cracks.
As a final step, Google released the source code of BumpTop at Google Code under the Apache license. According to released source code, the project is no longer maintained.
- Lardinois, Frederic (2009-04-07). "Bumptop Launches: Make Your Physical Desktop Virtual". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "An important BumpTop announcement". 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Rubin, Andy (5 January 2011). "A Sneak Peek of Android 3.0, Honeycomb". Google Mobile Blog. Google. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "Honeycomb Confirmed to Be Android 3.0, Demoed in Official Google Video". Androidpolice.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- "Honeycomb: Android for Tablets". Googlesystem.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- "OSX/Linux Support". Getsatisfaction.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
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- "PowerColor Announce Partnership with Developer Bump Technologies". Powercolor.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- "BumpTop 2.0 build 5790 - Download.com". Download.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Video: Bumptop gives Windows 7 touchscreen PCs purpose". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 (2009-04-08). "Bumptop: A better Windows desktop | TechCrunch". Crunchgear.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- [dead link]
- "Google Buys 3-D Multitouch Desktop Software Maker BumpTop". Fast Company. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- May 2, 2010 by Ben Parr 523 (2010-05-02). "Google Acquires BumpTop and its 3D Desktop Technology". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Agarawala, Anand. Ravin Balakrishnan. Keepin' it Real: Pushing the Desktop Metaphor with Physics, Piles and the Pen. Proceedings of CHI 2006 - the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. pp. 1283–1292.