VIDEO: is Apple adding 3D Touch to iPad with Apple Pencil?

By , Jul 15, 2016

iPad Pro 3D Touch with Apple Pencil image 002

Many people are disappointed that the latest iPads lack 3D Touch-capable screens although it’s anyone’s guess whether or not 3D Touch would make sense on tablet-sized screens. Well, iOS 10 beta 2 apparently has 3D Touch-like functionality on the iPad thanks to the Apple Pencil, which has been discovered to support deep presses.

Using an Apple Pencil, it’s possible to do things like clear all notifications with a deep press on the latest beta of iOS 10. Check out our video showing the feature in action and, as usually, let us know what you guys think of this.

3D Touch-like functionality via Apple Pencil

My colleague Andrew has put together a nice little video showing off clearing all notifications by deep-pressing the X icon in the Notification Center on iOS 10 beta 2.

It’s unclear whether this is a 3D Touch-like feature, or just a long press that could be replicated with a finger. 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s requires special hardware in the form of an array of 96 pressure-sensing sensors between the display and the backlight so, at best, this is most likely 3D Touch-like functionality.

Pure 3D Touch or a 3D Touch-like feature?

Andrew confirms that deep presses actually don’t work with a finger like they do when you use an Apple Pencil. “It is definitely pressure sensitive because I can press harder or softer to make the animation go up and down,” he said.

For what it’s worth, hard-pressing with an Apple Pencil on the Home screen app icons or notifications on the Lock screen currently does nothing on iOS 10 beta 2.

What do you think of this cool finding? Would replicating 3D Touch via the Apple Pencil make sense to iPad owners, do you think?

Sound off in the comments below.

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  • thunderqus

    wow, for once Apple are thinking about their existing customers (in terms of new features)!

    • rockdude094

      I know right.. finally apple taking care of its existing customers and we only have to pay an additional 100 dollars. I love Apple.

  • David Pomerleau

    Don’t think this was intentional on Apple’s part.

  • Guy

    They could be just testing new iPads but still cool. iOS 10 still needs ton of UI work.

  • In safari; if you hold the tabs button with your finger for 2 seconds; you can clear all tabs. You’d think fingers could active 3D touch menus by just holding for an extra second.

    • James G

      It could. They just don’t enable that.

  • diggitydang

    I have a 6s and 3D Touch isn’t anything close to a killer feature. It’s one step up from gimmicky for me. I rarely use it. Often when I do, it puts apps into wiggle mode – I guess I’m not doing it right??? Is that just me? Anyway, couldn’t care less that it would be on the iPad.

  • WhiteDragem

    Things like the torch brightness altering… it seems like 3d touch is about to come into usefullness.
    Of course the pressure capable pencil could emulate it… and it may even prove natural to users to alternate between 3d touch capable screens and pencil across devices.

    I do think apple need to give users a setting for selecting what they consider a ‘hard touch’.
    The best art software does and it is useful.
    Most of the art software… there is just NO WAY I am willing to push my pencil into the screen that hard- especially as the screens design is built around not using a screen protector that might mess up /create parallax error and change the surfaces ‘texture’/resistance..

  • Has anyone noticed additional 3D Touch gestures being added to beta 4?