3D Touch: what to do with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s.

Last updated: 14 January 2016


3D Touch: what to do with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s.

When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 it was one of the first mobile phones to offer a large touchscreen instead of a keyboard or keypad.

Nowadays, the traditional touchscreen phone recognises multiple touches and responds according to what you’re tapping on. But 3D Touch on iOS 9 allows you to increase and decrease pressure, letting you interact on a whole new level.

Apple calls 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus ‘the next generation of multi-touch’, but what does this really mean? We take a look at the three main features of 3D Touch:

Peek and Pop.

The amount of pressure you apply can actually alter the interaction. So, for example, with Peek and Pop you can preview stuff on your phone and interact with it without opening anything. Let’s see how it works:

  1. Your inbox.

    With a light press you’ll be able to ‘peek’ at your emails, but with a harder touch you can open the email and ‘pop’ into it.
  2. Web links.

    If someone sends you a URL in a text, post, Whatsapp or email you can peek at the website without leaving the page you’re on. Again, press lightly to peek at the content and then press harder to pop open the webpage.

    It’s the same with maps – you can open an address and see it on the map without leaving your screen with a light press, or open the map in a new page by pressing harder.
  3. Photos.

    When you’re poised with the camera app but you want to check what you’ve just snapped, you don’t have to come out of the camera.

    When you press on the thumbnail picture at the bottom left you’ll get all your recent pics along the bottom of the screen and you can swipe left and right to remind yourself of them before you take you next image. If you need a closer look to see if the image needs taking again, you guessed it, just press a little harder.

Quick Actions.

Whereas Peek and Pop works within the app you’re using, Quick Actions works from the homescreen. If an app supports Quick Actions (Mail, Messages, Dropbox and Twitter, among others) you can press on the app icon from the homescreen and everything else blurs; so only the app icon and related menus appear. These menus are called Quick Actions.

So how will this improve your user experience? Well, once you get used to using Quick Actions it becomes quicker and easier to navigate around your phone. Fewer steps means fewer taps to get to what you want.

For example, you can force press on the Camera icon and see all the relevant Quick Actions like recording video or taking a selfie. When you press on the Quick Action you need, the app will launch and take you straight to where you want to be.

It’s especially handy if you love Twitter and want to send a quick tweet.

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad.

This one is pretty exciting. You can basically turn your keyboard into a cursor, so you get the precision of using a trackpad on a laptop or a mouse on a PC.

If you press your keyboard when you’re in apps like Notes, Messenger and Mail, the keys disappear and it starts to behave like a trackpad - you can move and select things just like you would on a larger device.

So if you’re trying to edit something in a text or message, simply drag your finger around and you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact part you want to change with ease.

And there’s more…

On top of all this, 3D Touch technology makes multi-tasking a breeze - just press the left of the homescreen to go into a multi-tasking view.

Plus, the pressure sensitivity of iPhone touch means that when you’re drawing something or jotting something down in the Notes app, for example, you can press lightly for thinner lines and harder for thicker lines. Clever stuff.

Precise, easy to use, quick and smooth. All you need now is a network that can bring all the benefits of 3D Touch alive. That’s where Three comes in: we are rated the UK’s most reliable network by YouGov. The perfect partnership.