Apple confirms 3D Touch app switching was intentionally removed from iOS 11

The convenient 3D Touch power-user gesture for quickly opening iOS’s app switcher has disappeared from iOS 11 beta. According to Apple Engineering’s response to a Radar that developer Bryan Irace recently filed regarding its removal, the gesture was pulled intentionally from iOS 11 beta and might not be coming back in subsequent betas.

On iOS 10 and older, you can view your recently used apps by pressing the left side of the screen with 3D Touch. You can also use 3D Touch to quickly switch to a previous app by pressing the left edge of the screen hard, then swipe right.

Neither gesture works in iOS 11 beta.

When asked about the removal, Irace received the following reply from Apple Engineering:

Please know that this feature was intentionally removed.

The wording confirms it’s not a bug—Apple did remove this power-user gesture on purpose.

Here’s the screenshot of Apple’s response to Irace’s Radar.

I have a problem with the wording of the statement.

For starers, it doesn’t make it 100 percent clear whether or not they intentionally removed the gesture from iOS 11 beta only for it to return in subsequent betas. We were, of course, hoping it was merely a bug. But the fact that it isn’t listed as a known issue in the release notes accompanying the iOS 11 installer is rather telling.

This could be related to iPhone 8.

With major design changes coming to the next iPhone in the form of a nearly full-screen face with a seamless OLED display, the feature’s removal might quite possibly indicate a brand new way of accessing iOS’s app switcher on iPhone 8.

I wish Apple made it an optional setting rather than remove it completely. That way, people who still wanted it could keep it. On the other hand, Apple has stats on iOS features people use and perhaps numbers for the app switching 3D Touch thing were dismal, who knows?

The fact is, it doesn’t make much sense if you use your Plus iPhone model right-handed. Besides, I know many people who accidentally activate it all the time and get annoyed.

Could it have been deprecated by iPhone 8, because it was too easy to trigger accidentally without a bezel around the display? Will iPhone 8’s rumored function area at the bottom doubles as an app switcher of sorts? Last but not least, has Apple decided to remove the gesture because very few people were using it or were unaware it existed in the first place?

Tell us what you think in the comments section!