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iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone SE: goodbye to 3D Touch

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone SE: goodbye to 3D Touch

By Giacomo Martiradonna Thursday 16 April 2020

With the latest batch of iPhones, Apple officially gives the farewell kiss to a technology that they have very publicized in the past: 3D Touch.

April 16, 2020 update: with iPhone SE, the 3D Touch is officially and definitively dead.

For years, Apple has made us two convinced by sound of marketing campaigns and amazing ads, that the 3D Touch were the future (although not everyone thought so). The technology that allows you to determine how strongly you press your finger on the display, in fact, on the card added an extra level of possible interaction with the device. And in an interface based on a few intuitive gestures, this was godsend. But something went wrong, given that the latest generations of iPhones – more recent and expensive – say goodbye to this feature.

At the time we said that it looked more like a 'wow-effect' than a really useful function, especially since it was never clear where and how it could be used within the operating system; moreover, it complicated things unnecessarily when trying to explain their nuances to a novice user ("press but don't press too hard"). After several years of imposition, however, we finally got used to using it and taking advantage of it to take advantage of system shortcuts or to move the cursor. And now, suddenly, it disappears from the radar, replaced by Touch Aptico.

3D Touch Vs. Aptic Touch

Rumors have been announcing it unceasingly for months: iPhone 11 would have lacked 3D Touchthey said, and apparently they were right.

In fact, among the features of iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro we read del Tocco Aptico (Haptic Touch), and this also implies that 3D Touch officially retired. Pure on the new iPhone SE launched yesterday.

Although these are technologies that do roughly the same thing, they actually are deeply different. The 3D Touch – introduced with iPhone 6s and remained there until iPhone XS – measures the force with which you press on the screen, while the Haptic Touch is limited only to record long pressures such as those on iPad, but in addition it gives tactile feedback in the form of vibration. The former requires specific hardware, the latter instead based on software, which means that super low-cost.

3D Touch allowed different levels of interaction; with medium pressure, it was possible to "peek" inside an app, and with more decisive pressure it was possible to switch to "pop-up", that is to open the content. With Tocco Aptico instead you have a only level of interaction.

The Aptic Touch works roughly in all contexts where 3D Touch would work: in the Home Screen for app shortcuts, links, phone numbers, addresses, previews or context menus. But there are limitations. For example, with 3D Touch you can press anywhere on the iPhone keyboard to turn it into a virtual trackpad; with the Aptic Touch, however, you need to apply a long pressure on the Spacebar. And sometimes, it also misfires.

Why does it disappear?

As mentioned, 3D Touch requires specific additional hardware which increases production costs; also, for some reason, Apple never managed to bring it to iPad too. So it makes sense to remove it to make themore homogeneous user experience between the two platforms.

Finally, it has always been a bit of a niche feature, never really taken off. Perhaps the truth, in light of recent events, that it would not have never even had to debut.

Regular Aptic Touch

For adjust the functioning of the Aptic Touch, increasing or decreasing the response time, just open Settings> Accessibility> Touch> Haptic touch. In that same section there is a test area where you can also immediately test whether the changes made.