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Apple's 'iPhone 6s' to offer revamped '3-D Touch' interface

Apple's 'iPhone 6s' to offer revamped '3-D Touch' interface

September 6, 2015

Apple’s anticipated "iPhone 6s" is set to offer consumers more than just a Force Touch-capable display, if a recent report is to be believed.

The article, published by 9to5mac, explains that the incoming iPhone handsets will feature "a next-generation version" of the Force Touch technology we’ve already seen in Cupertino’s Apple Watch and the new MacBook’s impressive trackpad. It’ll likely be called a "3-D Touch Display," and it will allow users of the iPhone 6s (and "iPhone 6s Plus") to perform a wide range of pressure-sensitive gestures.

You see, instead of offering two-levels of pressure gestures, as per the Apple Watch and new MacBook, the 3-D Touch Display is instead expected to offer three levels: "a tap, a press, and a deeper press." In its article, 9to5mac adds:

The 3D Touch name is therefore derived from the new Force Touch sensor’s ability to sense three dimensions of pressure, rather than two. This opens up the door to new user-interface tricks, such as shortcut gestures across the iPhone 6s version of iOS 9.

The publication goes on to outline some examples of how users can perform gestures and shortcuts using 3-D Touch. For instance, users can "look up a point of interest in the Maps application, and then Force Touch on the destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions." In the article, 9to5mac adds that in the Music app, "a user can Force Touch on a listed track to be presented with some of the most commonly used actions. For instance, if a user deep presses on the listing for a song, a menu will appear to quickly add the song to a playlist or save it for offline listening."

9to5mac continues:

  • Another feature in testing, according to one source, are shortcuts that appear after Force Touching an app icon on the Home screen. For example, if a user deep presses on the Phone app icon, he could choose to shortcut directly to the Voicemail tab. This could also apply to deep pressing the News app icon and being taken directly to either the Favorites or For You tabs.
  • Some of the Force Touch gestures will come from Apple’s latest MacBooks. For instance, a user can Force Touch a link in Safari to see a preview of that webpage. The gesture also works for deep pressing on an address or contact name to see a preview of a map view or contact card, respectively. Similarly, a user can Force Touch a word to look up its definition.

Before now, we’d indeed questioned if a Force Touch display alone would be enough to drive iPhone 6s adoption later this year. Analysis had indicated that, if Force Touch was the standalone "new feature" available on the iPhone 6s, iPhone growth could take a backward step this year.

3-D Touch, however, sounds like something innovative and new, and we can’t wait to hear more. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait: Apple’s iPhone event is scheduled for Sept. 9. We’ll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.

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