We’re so many years into our smartphones featuring things like multitouch that it’s hard to remember a time before that. Though, an argument could be made that for anyone who was using phones with resistive touchscreens, and before multitouch revolutionized the way we interact with our devices, we could simply just be blocking out the “Dark Times.”
Truth be told, I can remember using those phones. And while resistive touchscreens were bad, they were only revealed to be really bad when we got our fingers working with multitouch technology. There were some really bad phones out there, of course, but hey, they got the job done.
But here we are, all these years later, and multitouch is still standing strong. Even if Apple wants to change things up again.
Apple drove multitouch into everyone’s home, and now it’s a piece of technology that we all use without giving much thought these days. It’s hard to argue that multitouch really did cause a tidal wave of change, and it’s good that the rest of the industry adopted the technology and ideas. There’s a lot we can do with multitouch, both on touchscreens and touchpads, and we’re all better off with it in our lives.
Apple wants to see what happens next, and so they’ve gone ahead and introduced a brand new idea into the mix. The Cupertino-based company wants to make changes again, fundamentally alter the way we use our phones yet again, and that’s where 3D Touch comes in. It’s a pressure-sensitive idea, which allows someone that owns an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus —and an Apple Watch thanks to Force Touch (still an awful name!)— to press a bit harder on something, like an app’s icon, to get a pop-out for options.
Using 3D Touch on the Facebook iOS app icon will send out a pop-out that allows someone to search, or take a photo or video that will automatically get posted to their feed. Email apps will let you quickly jump into a composition, and the list goes on for a variety of different apps.
3D Touch can be used inside of apps, too, like in Instagram to pop out images, or see link previews, and quite a bit more. 3D Touch doeshave huge potential, and word on the street says that Google is working on its own implementation of the idea for Android, so it’s possible that this is indeed the next big step for the way we interact with software on our devices.
I’m hoping that’s the case, because right now I’m not using 3D Touch barely at all. I may hard press on an app’s icon from time-to-time just to see if anything has changed, but for the most part I never use it. I do have to use it when I interact with a Live Photo, so there’s that, but I never hard press on Facebook’s app icon, or use it within Instagram.
I don’t think 3D Touch is unintuitive, and I do believe it has a bright future, but saving a second’s worth of time on something that already doesn’t take me long to do doesn’t have me going out of my way to adopt the methodology into my life. I’m also not even arguing that hard pressing on the stock Clock app to set an alarm is faster than tapping on the app, waiting for it to load, and then doing whatever it is I need to do in there. But, since I only ever use the alarm function in the stock Clock app, it automatically opens there anyway.
I’ve been tapping on app icons and waiting for them to load for so long that it’s just muscle memory at this point. More than that, apps open ridiculously quickly these days, so it’s not like I’m waiting a few seconds in any situation anymore.
Still, I’m curious to know if any iPhone 6s/6s Plus owners out there have genuinely adopted 3D Touch into their every day routine. And if you haven’t, why not? Let me know!