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Friday, October 4, 2019

No One Knew 3D Touch Existed, and Now It’s Dead

Apple’s new iPhone XR doesn’t include 3D Touch. App developers already didn’t use 3D Touch, but now they really won’t use it. Apple will have to design the iPhone operating system not to rely on 3D Touch so much.

Sure, the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max still have 3D Touch. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see it vanish from future iPhones. App developers can no longer rely on it.

Update, September 2019: A year later, none of Apple’s new iPhones have 3D Touch. With this hardware omitted from the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, 3D Touch is dead. You can still use it if you have an older iPhone with 3D Touch, of course.

“Haptic Touch” Replaces 3D Touch on the iPhone XR

The new iPhone XR features “Haptic Touch” instead of 3D Touch. Apple’s Phil Schiller quickly explained the new feature during Apple’s presentation, saying of the camera icon on the lock screen: “You just press on it, you’ll feel a haptic tap, and you’re taken right to the camera [app].”

As Apple points out, this is similar to how the Force Touch trackpad works in the MacBook Pro. You press, and you feel a haptic response. It’s just like when using 3D Touch or pressing the Home button on an iPhone.

But wait, hold on: That’s not like 3D Touch at all. From what we can tell, Apple is just adding haptic feedback to the usual long-press action that’s been used on iPhones forever. It doesn’t matter how hard you press. It’s just long-press with haptic feedback.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the New iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Wait, What Was 3D Touch?

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