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article imageApple's Force Touch may be called '3D Touch Display' on iPhone 6S

By James Walker     Sep 6, 2015 in Technology
A report has alleged Apple may be renaming its Force Touch technology for the iPhone 6S, launching a next-generation version known as 3D Touch Display. It allows a touchscreen to detect different levels of pressure and react accordingly.
Force Touch is expected to be one of the most major new features of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. It will allow app developers to program different actions depending on how hard the display was pressed, creating new ways of interacting with touchscreens.
The technology is already in use on the touchpads of the latest MacBooks and on the Apple Watch, where pressing the screen triggers an alternative response to tapping it. In this situation, Force Touch makes it easier to navigate on such a small display. Apple has been working on creating something better though, not content with simply scaling the existing Force Touch to fit an iPhone display.
9to5Mac writes the version used on the iPhone 6S will be updated and refined, carrying a new name to show this. Unlike the Force Touch of the Apple Watch and MacBook, 3D Touch can detect three different levels of pressure, giving it its name.
Force Touch can differentiate between a tap and a press. 3D Touch expands on those inputs by adding a deeper sensitivity level, allowing it to detect taps, light presses and heavier presses. This will give iPhone app developers even more touch inputs to play with, instead of the single "tap" of previous touchscreens.
3D Touch is different from the long-press functionality used on touch devices for years because it cuts out the delay of having to prolong the tap. Pressing the screen with more force is enough to quickly trigger the action. It will be paired with a new haptic engine to return feedback to the user in the form of vibrations.
The technology is expected to be incorporated into iPhone apps including Maps and Music. Force Touch can quickly start navigation if the user presses on a point of interest. This cuts out two additional taps that would ordinarily be required to load the directions and then actually begin the navigation.
In Music, a deep press on a song may show a menu that is the equivalent of the existing Actions menu, cutting out the time required for a long-press or tap of the actions button on the right side of the display. In Safari, using Force Touch on a word on a webpage provides an easy way to search for its definition. Deep pressing a link can show a preview of the site that it goes to. These gestures are already available to 2015 MacBook users.
With Apple's September 9 event just three days away, fans can expect to get the official low-down on 3D Touch very soon. However, the company won't be able to claim the iPhone 6S is the first phone with a pressure-sensing display as Huawei has already beaten Apple to it.
It showed off the Mate S at IFA 2015 this week, equipped with its own version of Force Touch tech. However, Huawei's version seems to be somewhat limited at the moment with a key part of the company's demonstration showing display being used to weigh objects, including an orange.
Android Central wrote after trying it out that "it's clear Huawei is still working out how best to implement new touch features" and the technology is "far from essential" so it's possible that the Chinese company decided to launch the phone solely to steal Apple's crown.
In any case, competition is always a good thing and it will be interesting to see if Apple can bring useful functionality to pressure-sensing displays. If the company proves it can, it's probably only a matter of time before Android phone manufacturers will be able to successfully emulate Force Touch too.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 6s, force touch, Display
 
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