Apple has now ditched 3D Touch entirely – a former touchscreen technology with three sensor options for detecting taps, light presses, and hard presses. In theory, this allowed a lot more possibilities for how people interacted with their iPhones and iPads. In practice, well, not so much.
3D Touch just didn’t get a lot of use, and it was a bit too complicated for many fans to get used to. So, Apple dropped the feature, but that doesn’t mean that users are relegated to just simple taps now.
Instead, 3D Touch has been replaced with Haptic Touch, which is a fancy way of saying that the “long press” or “long tap” option still works to uncover extra capabilities. Short taps and long taps are now your only two options.
This can all be confusing if you’re not a developer, so let’s make things clear. Continue reading to learn exactly what a long press can do these days!
Long Press Links
This is one of the most useful long-press abilities in the latest versions of iOS. If you long-press on a link, it will pop up a variety of options you can use for that link.
That includes opening it in a new tab, downloading a linked file, adding it to a reading list for later, sharing it with a friend, and more. Once you learn this one, you’ll be using it every day.
Note that using this long press will also give you a little mini-preview of the webpage. This isn’t as useful, but it can be handy if you aren’t sure what a link actually is and want a sneak preview first.
Long Press to Copy Photos
If you find a photo that you like online and want to use it somewhere else, do a long press on the photo, then tap copy. You can then quickly paste it in an iMessage thread or email without saving it to your Photos.
Long Press Wireless Controls
This works for any of the Control Panel’s communication options. Long press and it will uncover all of your network options. You can AirDrop, switch Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on or off, turn on a hotspot, and more.
It’s a great way to shift your network connections quickly. Just keep long-pressing, you might discover several layers of configurable options (like the Bluetooth menu, for example).
Long Press a Maps Location
Long-pressing a location in Maps will allow you to create a Marker for that location, which can be useful for all sorts of purposes. Using a Marker, you can get to directions to a landmark even if you don't know its actual address.
Long Press the Flashlight
Here’s a cool one that not many people know about. If you long press on the flashlight icon, it will open up a bar with multiple brightness settings. You can immediately choose the brightness level for your flashlight, from blinding to not quite as blinding.
Long Press App Icons
This is still the shortcut for deleting an app from your iPhone or moving them around. Do the long press, and a menu will pop up that provides a widget and new options, one of which will be Edit Home Screen. Tap that, or simply continue long-pressing until the icons start to wiggle.
Long Press on a Letter
Long pressing a letter will bring up the accented versions of that letter, perfect for correctly spelling many different foreign words or just making a punny joke. You can also do a long press on a symbol, and you will usually get several alternate versions of that symbol. This can be useful when you want to, for example, switch to from a dollar sign to another currency momentarily.
Long Press Brightness in the Control Panel
Brightness is already one of the most common features used on the Control Panel (it’s so handy), but this trick makes it even better.
Pop open the Control Panel and do a long press on the Brightness bar. This will open up a quick menu where you can control Dark Mode, Night Shift, and True Tone to get exactly the look you want for your iPhone (without needing to dig into Settings).
Long Press Safari’s Period
Are you looking for a shortcut to a specific kind of URL? If you long-press the period (.) button in Safari when typing in a URL (and this can work on other browsers as well), then it should bring up different website options, like .org and .edu.
This is nice if you want to look for a particular kind of link for research purposes or want advice from a specific organization. It may not save a ton of time, but it's nice to know that it's there.
Long Press the Tabs Icon
Do your website tabs get a little out of control on your iPhone? Do you find yourself frequently needing to clean them up? This trick will help. Open Safari and do a long press on the tabs icon, which is the box-by-a-box symbol. This will immediately pop up an option to close all tabs, this tab, or open new tabs. It’s one of the easiest ways to quickly close a lot of iOS tabs.
Long Press the New Tab Button
Did you accidentally close a webpage that you really need? No problem!
- When you go to manage your tabs in Safari, you will see a plus sign (+) icon in the center. This is a common way to open a new tab in the app and surf elsewhere.
- If you long-press on this plus sign, it will open a window of all the tabs you've recently closed, allowing you to recover one of them easily.
Long Press the Scroll Bar in Safari
Do you have a long webpage or document to search through? This tip will make it easier.
- When you start scrolling with a normal swipe, you will see a small scrolling indicator appear on the right side of the window.
- Press and hold this little scrolling bar, and it will allow you to move it up and down quickly.
This is ideal when scrolling through a very long page or catching yourself when you’re too deep into the comments section.