New 3D Touch shortcuts for stock apps in iOS 9.3

By , Jan 13, 2016

3D Touch finger pressing screen image 001

In addition to a few headlining features revealed in the first beta of iOS 9.3—such as Night Shift mode, Notes protection with Touch ID, improvements for the Health app and other goodies—proud iPhone 6s owners will be happy to learn about a bunch of new 3D Touch-enabled shortcuts for Apple’s stock apps.

Ranging from Settings to App Store to Health and more, half a dozen apps have either gained 3D Touch shortcuts for the first time or introduced new ones in the menu that appear after pressing an icon on the Home screen.

App Store

If you see a badge on the App Store icon on your Home screen indicating pending app updates, you can now press the icon and select the new Update All shortcut. Another new option in the menu, titled Purchased, takes you straight to the list of your purchased apps in the App Store.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch App Store Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

The new Update All and Purchased shortcuts are in addition to the existing Search and Redeem choices (as a blogger who reviews apps, I’m a big fan of the latter one).


If you need to copy the last result from Apple’s stock Calculator app, iOS 9.3 is your friend. Simply press the Calculator app’s icon on your Home screen a select the newly added Copy Last Result shortcut.



Compass has got to be one of the least used apps that Apple ships in iOS. You can imagine my surprise finding a pair of newly added shortcuts—Start Level and Start Compass—after 3D Touching the app’s Home screen icon.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch Compass Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

Most of my iPhone-toting friends are totally oblivious to the fact that they can swipe to the right on the Compass screen to enter the Level mode. Exposing that feature through 3D Touch could help raise awareness that it’s available.


I was surprised Apple did not include any shortcuts for Health, one of my favorite apps in iOS. Well, iOS 9.3 takes care of that, too. Pressing Health’s icon on the Home screen will produce new shortcuts that let you Show Medical ID and Show Dashboard.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch Health Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

If you haven’t set up your Medical ID card yet, please do yourself a favor and fill it now.

iTunes Store

Apple’s iTunes Store storefront app has gained two new 3D Touch shortcuts in iOS 9.3, View Downloads and Purchased. Like the App Store, the app also sports two existing shortcuts, Search and Redeem.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch iTunes Store Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001


In my personal opinion, this is by and large the most useful implementation of 3D Touch shortcuts on the Home screen. Pressing the Home screen icon of the Settings app with 3D Touch lets you adjust your Battery, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth settings. Another one lets you Set Wallpaper, just like that.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch Settings Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

While Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be quickly turned on and off by swiping from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Control Center, these new shortcuts conveniently take you directly to their corresponding sections within the stock Settings app, where you can make much richer adjustments.


If you use the Stocks app, you can now press its icon on the Home screen to run a Search for your stock.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch Stocks app Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001


Pressing the Weather app’s icon does absolutely nothing in pre-iOS 9.3 editions. With iOS 9.3, Weather has gotten some 3D Touch love, too, as you can now quickly jump to the weather card for your current location and for other cities, or even add a new city to the Weather app.

iOS 9.3 3D Touch Weather Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

What are your feelings on these new 3D Touch shortcuts in iOS 9.3, which one is your favorite and why? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • John Wickham

    It’s worth noting that you can now use Peek and Pop within the App Store!

    • John

      Only on apps though, not within categories.

      • John Wickham

        True, but the right direction nonetheless!

      • John


    • Noohar

      Screenshot plz

  • Why “Set Wallpaper”? 3D Touch shortcuts were intended to speed up a person’s typical usage. Do people change their wallpapers several times a day?

    • Nolan I.

      No, but what people do is go in Settings with intention in mind, and then try to remember why on earth they opened the app in the first place.

      This at least helps a little with that.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    For Settings shortcuts I just use Launch Center Pro system shortcuts for accessing Cellular, Accessibility or Hotspot for example. Yes I know a jailbreak tweak can accomplish that, but my 6S Plus is running iOS 9.2 and therefore I’m not jailbroken.

  • Blip dude

    Instead of just a shortcut, why couldn’t they just add a quick weather widget instead?? I was really hoping that 3D Touch would actually be used for widgets instead of just a shortcut. But ehh, I guess it’s still nice to have though.

    • Yeah, similar to Action Launcher (http://bit. ly/1SjfifY), except that does the same with simple swipe gesture.

  • Hugh Sheridan

    Quick off topic question – is 180 (“upside down”) rotation disabled on iphones? I know that iPads do it and I can remember that at some point my phone used to do it, anyway. Doesn’t seem to be working on my phone now though.

    So is something up with my phone or has apple just disabled this feature (im still on 9.0.1 btw)? And is there a tweak that enables it?

    It would be handy to know because I have to put my phone upside down in the dock in my car which make reading the screen super awkward when it doesn’t reorientate.

    • Nolan I.

      If you’re on 9.0.1 I’d jailbreak so you can install tweaks that fix this!

      • Hugh Sheridan

        Thanks i am jailbroken.

        Do you know the name of a tweak that does this?

        Is it something that all (stock ios 9.x) iphones dont do?

  • Instead of having a 3D Touch shortcut to wallpapers from Settings, it should have been cellular date.

    • Mike M. Powell

      So much yes!!!! Idk why they keep avoiding it >_<

  • Franklin Richards

    That’s nice. Has Apple done anything to make stock more apps go into landscape as well?

  • Jake Platt

    Stocks – the first app I hide with springtomize

  • Chris

    I’m guessing the ‘Purchased’ icon is just a placeholder because I can’t see how the icon used traditionally as ‘Compose’ could be applicable.

  • Bass Head

    I really like 3d touch except that it makes copying links next to impossible

  • Dylan33x

    Still cant shuffle all music with 3D touch and thats a shame

  • jzack

    the wifi and bluetooth is kinda useless i think since they are already exist in the control centre. maybe they should put the mobile data instead