Mobile & Wearable

Apple to remove 3D Touch on all new iPhones, replace with Haptic Touch

We're sad to see the end of 3D Touch

Apple is set to remove 3D Touch functionality from its iPhone range later this year.

First introduced more than four years ago with the iPhone 6s, the technology was designed to allow users to press down on their smartphones to reveal additional functionality, such as peek inside of an app before opening, or opening a menu drawer to launch specific app functionality.

However, new data from MacRumors and Barclays suggests that the company will ‘eliminate’ 3D Touch from its trio of 2019 iPhones, news that was first predicted in August of last year.

According to Barclays analysts, the news was confirmed when they took a trip to Asia earlier in the month, with some parts of the new iPhone models already in pre-assembly production.

The news corresponds to rumors first reported by The Wall Street Journal in January.

Last year, Apple replaced 3D Touch with Haptic Touch on its iPhone XR model, as the device included a cheaper LCD screen rather than an OLED display.

Whilst 3D Touch worked on the atmosphere and pressure of the air around the iPhone to determine whether a press was intended, Haptic Touch is actually just a marketing term for a long press on a smartphone.

It’s unknown why Apple has made the decision to remove 3D Touch from its smartphones, as the company has already shown it can integrate the technology with its OLED displays, but it may be that the firm wants to unify its smartphone range and simplify manufacturing.

Apple may even be working on more advanced Haptic Touch technology via software or new hardware, so all is not lost for fans of 3D Touch – we’ll know more come September when the iPhones are announced, and critics including AppleMagazine get their hands on the devices.

Haptic Touch works in fewer places on the iPhone XR as 3D Touch does on the iPhone XS and XS Max, and right now, it doesn’t support Quick Actions on app menus, or Peep and Pop that is used to preview content, like a new web page on Safari or an image on Instagram.

Apple could eliminate 3D Touch from its code in iOS 13, which is set to be announced at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

As developers dig into the beta, we may learn more about how or why Apple is removing 3D Touch from its smartphones – perhaps advanced technology will allow the company to replicate the best 3D Touch features via software?

If not, consumers will naturally be disappointed to wave goodbye to one of the iPhone’s most useful features, and it will be sorely missed from future iPhone iterations.

What are your thoughts? Are you concerned about the end of 3D Touch, or do you think Apple is working on a replacement with iOS 13? Let us know on Twitter @AppleMagazine.

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