How to use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s: a video tutorial

3d touch

3D Touch is the biggest new feature to come to the iPhone 6s, and it brings a whole new interaction paradigm to the iPhone. 3D Touch is possible by means of a new pressure sensitive screen used in Apple’s new iPhone hardware.

By tapping into this new input method, Apple and third-party developers are able to lend users access to quick Home screen shortcuts, in app previews, and quicker access directly to specific pages within an app. Not only is 3D Touch an awesome feature today, but its potential for the future is even more exciting.

In the following video, I’ll share over 15 different points on 3D Touch. Perhaps you’ll find something in this list that you weren’t aware of.

3D Touch on the Home screen

You can press on an app icon on the Home screen to access quick shortcuts to specific locations within an app. Eligible apps include the following:

  • Messages
  • Photos
  • Mail
  • Camera
  • Maps
  • Music
  • Safari
  • Notes
  • App Store
  • iBooks
  • Wallet
  • Clock
  • Phone
  • Contacts
  • FaceTime
  • Calendar
  • News
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

There are other Apple made apps that can be used with 3D Touch as well, such as iMovie, Find Friends, Game Center and more. You can also 3D Touch on the Lock screen if you’re using Live Wallpaper to see the wallpaper animate. See our top 20 iPhone 6s features post for more details.

3D Touch can be used with supported Third Party apps

More and more third-party apps are being updated to work with 3D Touch as well. Some of the currently released apps that support 3D Touch are:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Dropbox
  • Things
  • Shazam

If an app that supports 3D Touch isn’t working, launch the app first, as the 3D Touch apps are dynamic, so the app has to be loaded once beforehand. Of course, not all apps will work with 3D Touch, as developers have to build in support for the feature.

Use 3D Touch without lifting a finger

Keep your finger on the screen and drag from a 3D Touch action for even faster results.

Using ‘Peek’ and ‘Pop’

Peek slows you to preview and back out of you want. You can also slide up on a peek in order to perform additional actions.

Pop lets you fully commit to a peek, it’s the second level of pressure that’s applied.

In the mail app, you can slide after a peek to perform bonus actions like mark as unread and delete.

Preview Maps

3D Touch on an address to peek and see a preview. Press harder to pop into the full Maps app.

Preview web links

Tap on a link from anywhere to peek at the corresponding webpage. Press harder to pop into the full Safari browser.

Access Contact information

While in the Mail of Messages app, 3D Touch on a contact photo to bring up contact options.

View recently taken photos while in the Camera app

You can 3D Touch on the photo preview window to quickly glance at all of your recently taken photos without leaving the Camera.

Disable 3D Touch

You can disable 3D Touch in Settings →  General →  Accessibility. More info here.

Adjust 3D Touch sensitivity

You can also adjust the sensitivity of 3D Touch via the Accessibility section of the Settings app. I personally prefer using light sensitivity. You can test how the changes in sensitivity affect your usage right from the preferences. More info here.

Using wiggle mode to edit app icon layouts

If you want to enter wiggle mode on your Home screen and not invoke 3D Touch, simply tap and hold lightly on an app icon instead of pressing on the screen. You can also press on a folder, since folders don’t respond to 3D Touch.

Use trackpad mode to move your cursor

You can turn your keyboard into a trackpad with 3D Touch, which is downright awesome. Simply press on the keyboard and drag your finger. You can move your finger anywhere on the screen while in trackpad mode, not just on the keyboard.

Highlight text using trackpad mode

To highlight text, enter trackpad mode and press on the screen while your cursor is next to the text you wish to highlight. Once the text is highlighted, you can drag to select more text. More info here.

Swipe to activate the App Switcher

Press on the left edge of the screen, drag right to the middle of the screen, and release.

Quickly toggle between two apps

You can quickly switch between two apps using the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture. To do so, drag all the way to the right side of the screen. This lets you quickly switch back to the last app in one swipe.

Pressure sensitive drawing in the Notes app

3D Touch can also be used to draw darker strokes inside the Notes app. By pressing harder on the screen while drawing, strokes will be darker.

Have you found any additional 3D Touch actions that you’d like to make us aware of? Sound off down below with your comments.