Apple plans to phase out 3D Touch with the launch of 2019 iPhones. The iOS 13 betas carry enough instances to confirm that Apple is favoring Haptic Touch while quietly bidding adieu to the prominent 3D Touch gestures. That means once you update your phone with iOS 13 later this fall, you won't have to press the icons harder on your iPhone to pop out special shortcuts.
So why is Apple omitting the 3D Touch? It's cost of complex electronics needed for 3D Touch, which also takes up precious internal space.
The Origins of 3D Touch
Apple introduced Force Touch for trackpads of MacBooks and Apple Watch. Later, 3D Touch made a debut with the iPhone 6s in 2015. After that, it became a standard feature of all iPhones until last year's iPhone XR.
With the announcement of iOS 13, Apple is yet to explicit mention of phasing out 3D Touch in favor of the Haptic Touch. The iOS 13 gets you a simpler Long Press gesture which emulates the same Force Touch-like experience for performing the popular Peek preview and Quick Actions.
3D Touch has always been an underrated and under-used feature. Not all iPhone owners know the gestures that one can perform with 3D Touch. So today we will mention the top ten features of 3D Touch tricks, shortcuts, and actions that the iPhone owners will miss after iOS 13 releases for public.
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1. Peek and Pop
It is the star feature of 3D Touch. Peek and Pop are usable for previewing various things like web links, locations images, and documents.
Apple has baked this feature in several stock apps like Safari, Mail, Maps, and Message. A hard-press gives you a quick preview of the content while a touch opens it normally. Some examples of Peek and Pop are previewing links in Mail or a location in Maps.
2. Quick Actions
This feature is best usable for accessing an additional context menu quickly, wherever available, based on Long Tap. The 3D Touch engine measures for how long you have pressed on the screen to distinguish between Short Tap and Long Tap.
On apps like Phone, you can access the quick menu with actions like Create New Contact and View Recent Calls. Similarly, for the Camera app, the quick menu allows you to open the selfie camera directly to click a portrait or record a video.
3. Make Photos Live
Live photos are a unique feature of iPhone which takes a series of shots in succession before and after you press the capture button and stitch them together to create an animated video.
Using a hard press on any live photo, you can activate them to see the whole action. That also works on live wallpapers, as shown above.
4. Pressure-Sensitive Drawing
While we still don't have Apple Pencil support for iPhones, ones of its features of pressure-sensitive drawing, which varies the thickness of the lines based on how much you press down the pencil against a screen, can be emulated using 3D Touch.
In the Notes app, the line thickness can be changed in the same way as shown above.
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5. Prioritize App Downloads
The app download and update process in iOS is pretty simple and straightforward. But it doesn't allow you to control or cancel the download. Right?
If you didn't know, a hard press on a downloading app reveals a menu which allows you to Prioritize, Pause, or Cancel the download.
6. Cursor Control
One of the most useful features of 3D Touch is controlling the position of the cursor by swiping on the keyboard.
Perform a hard press anywhere on the keyboard, and the whole keyboard will transform into a trackpad to move around the cursor position.
7. Hard Press More Speed
While playing Need For Speed: Most Wanted, I used to press the up arrow key harder, in a bid to overtake that last car. Fully knowing that keyboards don't work this way, it gave me a false sense of hope that the harder I press, the quicker I went.
That is true for several iOS games utilizing the 3D Touch's pressure-sensitive tech. In games like AG Drive, you can control the intensity of the acceleration and brake depending on how hard you press the on-screen controls. Breakneck is another game that uses 3D Touch to control the directions of a ship.
8. Peek Zoom
We all know iOS has a great range of accessibility features. One of those features, Peek Zoom, which zooms the whole screen for easier reading, uses 3D Touch to toggle the Zoom setting.
To enable Peek Zoom, head to Settings>General>Accessibility>Zoom. Turn on the Zoom option and also the Show Controller option. A joystick-like controller will appear on the screen. Performing a Hard Press at the center will zoom the screen as shown in the GIF above.
9. Control Center Options
The Control Center contains toggles for daily used settings like WiFi, Bluetooth, Mobile Data, etc. to name a few. Doing a hard press on any of these reveals context menus containing additional options.
For example, a hard press on the Torch button reveals the menu to control the intensity of the light. Similarly, for Brightness, toggles for Night Shift and True Tone appear.
10. Folder Options
The standard way of renaming a folder of apps on your Homescreen is the Long Press>Open the Folder>Rename.
Using 3D Touch, this can be done by just a Hard Press on the folder and selecting Rename. Further, if some of the apps inside the folder have notifications pending, you can attend to them directly from the context menu as shown in the GIF.
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3D Touch's Future Is Bleak
Recently, an iOS developer named Don reached out to Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, about the missing support for 3D Touch. Federighi responded stating it was just a bug. It seems Apple wants to remain tight-lipped about the future of this feature.
So there is still hope for 3D Touch. We will find out for sure when the 2019 iPhones launch. Till then enjoy the existing features of 3D Touch.
Next up: The iOS 13 will bring plenty of changes and new features, including the way you update your apps. Read our guide to know the top 5 ways of updating apps in iOS 13.