Apple might bow out of 3D Touch for its forthcoming iPhone slate. MacRumors says the pressure-sensitive technology won't make an appearance on all iPhones due out this year.
Barclays analysts confirmed last week, per a research note, that 3D Touch will be eliminated from the said phones.
The Rise And Fall Of 3D Touch
Apple debuted 3D Touch in 2015 with the iPhone 6S. This feature is able to recognize how hard a finger is pressing on the screen, and triggers various functions depending on the level of pressure. Lightly tapping an app, for example, will launch it as normal, but pressing a bit harder will open up a "shortcuts" menu for faster access to that app's core functions.
As VentureBeat notes, 3D Touch could have been a "killer" addition to iPhones and iPads and had lots of potential to make iOS more dynamic as a user interface. But beyond "Peek and Pop," which lets certain apps create floating web page previews or context-specific menus, there were no other significant uses for 3D Touch, and even now it seems the feature remains underutilized. Sure, there are other uses for 3D Touch — such as applying pressure to animate Live Wallpapers or watching Live Photos play — but it doesn't seem Apple has grand plans to improve its implementation.
This isn't the first time Apple will remove 3D Touch. It already replaced it with Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR so as to achieve a nearly edge-to-edge LCD on the device. This will likely be extended to all iPhones expected this year. Haptic Touch, for the uninitiated, is simply Apple's fancy way of naming a long press that provides haptic feedback care of the in-device Taptic Engine.
Still, it's unclear why Apple feels the need to remove the feature completely, as both the iPhone XS and XS Max have it, pricing 3D Touch can be integrated into edge-to-edge OLED displays without issue. Haptic Touch works in fewer places and does not support quick meus or Peek and Pop, which means it's essentially a downgrade from 3D Touch.
Perhaps there'll be more hints of 3D Touch going away when Tech Times gets a closer look at iOS 13, which Apple is expected to unveil this June at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. After that, Apple will out new iPhones in September, if its release pattern holds.