Here’s a curious one. A few weeks back, I tweeted this:
I never use 3D Touch.
— the beach baller (@thebeachballer) March 22, 2016
And, while on my morning dog walk earlier today, I realised that, actually, that isn’t quite right. I do use 3D Touch. Quite a lot.
This thought was in part prompted by Serenity Caldwell’s recent post on that very subject. Caldwell argues that 3D Touch is an niche iPhone feature she simply can’t live without, and I think she’s hit the nail on the head.
Along with the usual – and increasingly unnoticeable to anyone without a trained photographic eye – changes to the lens system, 3D touch was billed as the ‘big’ S upgrade feature last year when the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were launched. In reality, and much like Touch ID before it, 3D Touch’s influence on our every day lives is far less dramatic.
Certainly, it has slotted into my daily iPhone usage seemingly under the radar and to the point where it has quickly established itself as the norm.
So, how do I use 3D Touch? To reposition the cursor when writing text. That’s it. No peeping into web links, no shortcuts from springboard app icons and certainly no mail preview shenanigans. I use it as a quasi mouse pointer – a method by which to make interacting with an onscreen cursor just that little bit easier.
Did Apple intend for this? Perhaps its simply affirmation of where they’ve always intended to score highly – by bringing sophisticated tech to the masses and making it intrinsically approachable and useful. Sure, there’s plenty of headline-grabbing fluff surrounding the ability to press firmly on the iPhone screen in order to delve deeper into iOS, but in every day use, its impact is far more subtle. Subtle is good. Subtle makes all of our lives easier.
I take it back. I am a closet 3D Touch user.