What is 3D Touch?

We have the honor to meet the latest iPhone duo (iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus) last week. And yes, they are bringing a few extraordinary new features. The most interesting new thing that Apple introduced with new iPhones is 3D Touch. 3D Touch is hot, it is desirable, and TechCrunch is even calling it “the biggest mobile user experience innovation of the decade.” So, let’s find out more about this killer feature.

What exactly is 3D Touch?

3D Touch is a new generation of gestures that you can apply on an iPhone. We are all used to “old school” gestures, and we can’t imagine our smartphones without them. Tap, swipe, pinch, pull, drop, they are all so familiar to our fingers. According to Apple, 3D Touch will soon be a part of our everyday routine, as well. And we are seriously considering that this might be the truth because they are the ones who thought us how to use smartphones in a way we do in a first place.


3D Touch in action

What 3D Touch does is that it brings a new dimension to display commands – depth. It is quite straightforward – your new iPhone will be aware of the pressure that you are applying to a display and will act accordingly. Here’s how it works:

If you press your screen lightly, you will be able to see the preview. This command is called “Peek”.

If you press harder than you have done it earlier, you will activate “Pop” command, and that will help you enter the item you just previewed.

If you swipe up while you are on the “Peek” level, you will activate “Quick Actions” that will enable you to use additional options on that item.

3D Touch quick actions

3D Touch quick actions

To sum up, 3D Touch is introducing three new gestures into a smartphone world. Apple gives us “Peek”, “Pop” and “Quick Actions” for the first time.

Force Touch Vs. 3D Touch

One might ask “How is 3D Touch different from Force Touch?” Just a quick reminder: Force Touch is a gesture Apple introduced last year with Apple Watch, that allowed us to press the screen to get additional options. Force Touch only lets you press the display and activate the same set of options no matter how hard your pressure is. On the other hand, 3D Touch measures the level of your impact on a display and execute different operations. By doing so, it brings depth into a smartphone world.

Technology behind 3D Touch

Technology behind 3D Touch

What can you do with 3D Touch?

Apple has showed us a few great things with 3D Touch in a leading role on a keynote on September 9th. Since presented actions are mainly part of the new iOS 9, we will see what else can be done with 3D Touch as soon as new apps and games appear in Apple Store this fall. At the moment, here’s what you can do with 3D Touch for sure:

Preview your emails from the inbox and open them if you wish, or forward them immediately, without opening the email message.

Check recorded photo while taking a new one.

A sneak peak into a website by using only the link.

See the location by peeking into the address.

Use 3D Touch to access Maps quickly

Use 3D Touch to access Maps quickly

Use Quick Actions from the home screen to call or send messages to your favorite contacts.

Snap selfie, take a photo, slow-mo, or a video by pressing the camera icon on a home screen.

And this is only the beginning. Imagine what else we would be able to do once the developers unleash their imagination.

3D Touch on Other platforms?

Optimistic predictions are saying that 3D Touch will become a standard in the smartphone world in a year or two. They believe that Android will start implementing it quite soon, and that big companies (yes Samsung, we are looking at you) will soon create hardware that would be able to support it. They claim that it will become a standard gesture quite soon.

We believe the same. The main reason is that 3D Touch seems so natural and logical that we will wonder in five years from now how could we ever live without it.

Has Apple made it reinvent the way we use smartphones once again? The future will tell.

We can’t wait to get our fingers on a new iPhone and to use 3D Touch on our own. We believe that you are feeling the same, so feel free to let us know on your experience as soon as you can. We are waiting for your comments!


Image resources: GeekWire, Apple



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