3D Touch is largely thought to be changing the way that we interact with our phones, and because of this, we can expect there to be plenty of 3D Touch imitations at CES and beyond.
Despite this, as far as Apple’s devices go, the technology is really only available on the iPhone 6s, with different versions of it available in the MacBook touchpad and the Apple Watch. It seems as though Apple, however, is looking to bring the technology to the rest of the Apple product lineup.
According to recent reports, Apple is currently unable to scale the 3D Touch Technology to accommodate for larger displays, like those used in the iPad Air lineup. The company is, however, working on a comparable technology to integrate into both the iPhone and the full lineup of iPads, including the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The fact that Apple has been unable to scale the technology explains why 3D Touch was curiously absent from the iPad Pro launch. Most would have seen the inclusion of the technology as obvious.
It makes sense that Apple would want to implement some form of the tech into the rest of its product lineup, if not just to retain the level of consistency across its products. The experience should be very similar for any Apple mobile product, something that will ensure that Apple users are able to easily and accurately use both an iPhone and an iPad.
Even if Apple were able to include the tech in the iPad Pro, it would likely boost the price of the device quite a bit. While Apple will be looking to find ways to replicate the experience in larger devices, the company will have to ensure that it can do so without raising the price too much for an already very pricey device.
Currently, 3D Touch is able to measure the distance between the cover glass, which is somewhat flexible, and the sensor array, assigning the pressure to a numerical value. The next generation of 3D Touch will, according to sources, work on the same principle, and though the technology might change a little so that it can be used in larger displays, users themselves won’t know the difference simply by using devices.
The information is in line with a research note from Ming-Chi Kuo, the KGI analyst with a great track record for Apple predictions. Kuo noted that Apple is unlikely to release a 3D Touch-capable iPad Air 3 when it released the iPad Air 3 in 2016, due to production issues. Before these notes, most would have expected the new range of iPads to get the 3D Touch technology, with new technologies normally trickling down from the iPhone to the iPad.
There’s another reason that Apple should be working to adopt 3D Touch into its full lineup – developers. Developers will be less likely to want to implement new technology into their apps if they are unable to scale those new apps to larger screens.
Apple, however, is encouraging developers to find ways to implement 3D Touch into their apps. Only a handful of developers have started to integrate 3D Touch into their apps, and those developers have really only been massive ones like Facebook and Microsoft.
3D Touch is one of the biggest new additions to Apple’s list of groundbreaking technologies, and with good reason. Developers who do end up taking advantage of it could implement a whole new level of control and realism into their apps. It would be great to see people like game developers take 3D Touch into consideration, something that could bring a number of new options to the games that they’re developing.
Only time will tell if Apple is able to create a technology that works the same as 3D Touch for the iPad lineup, however bets are that it will at some point soon. In the meantime, however, look out for 3D Touch copies, which are sure to be aplenty.
It’s also entirely possible that another company will figure out how to implement a similar technology into tablet sized devices before Apple does, and while Apple will have been the first to come up with the technology in the first place, having another company offer 3D Touch-capable tablets won’t be something that Apple wants to happen.