As part of today’s event, Apple announced the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with 3D Touch technology, a hardware and software combination that tracks how much pressure is being applied to the display and carries out different functions based on various levels of pressure. Also announced was the Taptic Engine in Apple’s new 6s iPhones, which brings the addition of subtle taps, deepening the experience of 3D Touch with a haptic feedback element. Apple likens 3D Touch’s new Peek and Pop actions to the legacy Tap, Swipe, and Pinch Multi-Touch gestures, but with a third dimension of functionality, bringing about the “3D Touch” moniker.

Peek and Pop are the terms Apple has given to deep and deeper presses within iOS apps that display a preview, or peek, of content with a lighter press and pop into the full view with a firmer press. These actions work for a variety of scenarios including getting a quick glimpse of an email via Peek and either letting up to return to the list view or pressing harder to Pop into the full message. Certain instances of the Peek view are actionable, meaning a user can swipe right or left to delete or mark an email as read.

Messages received its own set of Peek and Pop actions, with light pressure on a link pulling up an inline web preview within Messages and stronger pressure Popping over to Safari for the full experience. This same concept works with previewing addresses and photos in a Messages thread.


Quick Actions bring 3D Touch to the system level as well as in apps by enabling users to launch into specific parts of apps simply by firmly pressing on an app’s Home screen icon, next to which a menu will appear with various actions that can be selected simply by sliding and letting go. This introduces a variety of scenarios, including the stock iOS actions of choosing a contact to call (or creating a new contact) directly from the Phone app’s icon, choosing to launch the Camera app directly to the front-facing camera or another camera mode, opening Maps right into directions to your house, and launching straight into a specific conversation in Messages.


Other in-app actions include swiping up on a Peek to get a menu of frequently used actions, such as copying a link or opening it in a new Safari tab. Apple has also linked every contact photo in iOS 9 to its owner’s contact information, accessible by a 3D Touch on the profile picture. Apple’s Notes app also features pressure-sensitive drawing to pack more detail into sketches, which is made possible by 3D Touch’s ability to distinguish between different levels of a press and draw lighter or darker and thinner or thicker lines. Further, while taking pictures, previous shots can be quickly reviewed with a 3D Touch on the Camera app’s thumbnail in the bottom, left corner.

System-wide Quick Actions introduce a new level of convenience to features that iOS 9 has listed since its reveal back in June at WWDC. For example, the two-finger hold gesture that invokes the trackpad-like keyboard in iOS 9 is now accompanied by a 3D Touch on iOS’s keyboard, making the feature considerably easier to use on iPhone and with one hand.


Additionally, the multitasking menu in iOS 9 can be accessed by pressing the left side of the screen, and a swipe over pans between app cards. This feature clarifies Apple’s reasoning behind reversing the multitasking menu’s scroll direction, and it may be one more step toward removing the Home button from iPhone completely.

Live Photos are an interesting new way of viewing photos that are made interactive with 3D Touch. When taking a picture, the Camera app in iPhone 6s captures 1.5 seconds of video before and after a shot and saves it along with the normal 12-megapixel photo. When viewing the photo later, users can firmly press on the photo to play the 3 seconds of footage and relive the moment by making the photo come alive. Live Photos, as well as stock Dynamic Wallpapers, can be set as Lock screen wallpapers and viewed in motion with a 3D Touch, which animates the clip.iphone-6s-live-photos

Developers have access to a 3D Touch API, which will allow them to create their own customizable Quick Actions that can be invoked via a firm press on an app’s Home screen icon. Pressure-sensitive drawing, Peek and Pop, and many more types of interactions will soon be available in third-party applications, and games on iOS will have a third dimension of user input, which may take mobile gaming to an entirely new level.

3D Touch is available exclusively in Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which will be available for preorder on September 12 and will ship on September 25.

  • Nathan

    Much blur
    very blurry

    • Giselle Fionda

      I thought the same thing. Steve must be turning in his grave. Why would I want to look at blurry images ? Bad for the eyes. The fact that no one at Apple challenged this decision is absurd to me.

  • smtp25

    No iPad support :/

    • thunderqus

      wait for next generation of iPad Air 3 with 3D touch, not sure if they will upgrade iPad Pro as early as next year , considering how expensive that is.

  • DevXav

    Only now people will begin to understand the real forcetouch capabilities..

    • thunderqus

      Tell that to Huawei , who are now dumb found, they may have beat Apple to announce it first, but surely they didn’t knew what the hell to do with it, once again Apple is a leap forward in this game.

      • DevXav

        Huawei didn’t announce it first…

        Remember: Apple Watch had that already and everyone knows Apple releases new iPhones September 9th..

        Now a days it’s not too hard to gather all the leaks around about the new iPhones and release a piece of Chinese hardware that supposedly does the same functionality and brag about “being first”..

        As you already said, they have NO IDEA of what to do with it whereas Apple is already focusing on iPhone 7 improved 3DTouch and lots of other new capabilities ahead of 2016 or even 2017 releases…

      • Chindavon

        But hey, if you ever want to know the weight of your fruit, man…they got that down pat.

      • Gary le

        Is that also the first smartphone to weight an orange?

  • Radu

    Apple forgot to innovate. This is not innovation, it’s bullshit. I’ve been able to do almost all these things on my phone long time ago, using some jailbreak tweaks. This 3D touch looks to me like an improved version of long touch.

    • Alberto Espinal

      Whaaat man you don’t know what you talking bout, just wait to try it out and stop saying something that you have never tried

      • Radu

        If you think this is innovation you’re clearly blinded by the company’s marketing abilities. I’m not saying this is bad, I’m saying this was possible before (with some “tricks”), and innovation looks to me different. I’m still using an iPhone 5 because the only thing that has changed since then is the screen size and the camera (well, just now). It still runs flawlessly without any lag or whatsoever.

      • igorsky

        So you get to decide what “innovation” is? Awesome.

    • Victor

      I completely agree. But I don’t understand this need for more innovation than what they’re offering now. I personally need a phone in which I can navigate quickly, manage documents (thank you, iFile), open specific file formats and, of course, call other people. Maybe that’s why I don’t upgrade often (iPhone 4S user). What else can – or should – a smartphone offer? Maybe a built-in projector would be useful to me…

  • Dante Arellano

    Kind cool ios with 3d shitte but it’s worth it? Upgrade to i6s plus for $1000

  • therealjjohnson

    I wish I could take full advantage of iOS 9 without purchasing an 6SPlus.

    • Scott

      Jailbreak and get Velox…

      • therealjjohnson

        There is no iOS 9.0 jailbreak to my knowledge.

      • Scott

        so be patient lol

      • Scott

        There will be soon!

  • Chindavon

    Pure genius.

  • Scott

    Velox must be laughing, or crying…

    • Anonymous

      Nhaw they still have there place. After reading through the comment there are still alot of iphone users on Legacy devices. Velox gots a few years before iphone 6s/plus are the free base models. But like all jailbreak tweaks there time is limited once sherlocked. Lol. Just like hey siri tweak has been sherlocked.

  • Anonymous

    @Radu i agree you can decide for your self what innovation is. However, i disagree with you, and believe apple has innovated. I mean any one who jailbreak wants to see more inovation then apple has brought to the table. And yes with tweaks like velox and activator (tweak/app) you can create or mimic 3D touch. But there is somthing to be said when your phone comes with the feature. Also only a small amount of iphone users actually jailbreak (thats not to say there are not a lot of jailbreakers), so with that being said alot of iphone users will benifit from 3D touch. Many of those users for the first time will benifit from tweaks like velox and activator. And i do believe that would fit siri’s definition of innovation by context.

  • Giselle Fionda

    Steve must be turning in his grave. Why would I want to look at blurry images ? Bad for the eyes. The fact that no one at Apple challenged this decision is absurd to me.

  • Giselle Fionda

    Steve must be turning in his grave. Why would I want to look at blurry images while using my phone ? Bad for the eyes. The fact that no one at Apple challenged this decision is absurd to me.