With the release of the initial iOS 13 beta version a few days ago, Apple basically announced to the world that it is dropping support for 3D Touch. We say this because iOS 13 makes every shortcut and gesture that relied on this technology accessible through a simple long press – which means that there is for all practical purposes no longer any need for 3D Touch.
Many industry experts have in the recent past warned that they believed that Apple was on the verge of dropping support for 3D Touch. The first one we can think of was renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who hinted at such a move in April 2018. Barclays analysts last week confirmed Ming-Chi Kuo’s initial fears and issued a report saying that 3D Touch “will be eliminated” soon.
From a financial point of view, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to drop support for 3D Touch. The mechanism that makes this technology possible is expensive and takes up a lot of space. It has been rumoured that Apple will use the additional space that it gains by dropping 3D Touch to fit a bigger battery.
If one looks at the whole issue from an innovation point of view though, it’s horribly frustrating. In the first place, 3D Touch was the top haptic feedback system out there. It offered a variety of ingenious shortcuts a lot quicker than would be possible by using a standard long press.
3D Touch is useful throughout iOS, from the Control Centre and on-board keyboard to apps icons and more. For example, you can use 3D Touch (a hard, quick press) to load Quick Actions on app menus, emails and URLs. This enables you to “Peek and Pop” (i.e. get a preview without actually opening them).