Apple’s iPhone 6s has a great new feature called 3D Touch, which essentially adds a completely new layer of input for users to take advantage of.
3D Touch basically reads changes in the distance between the screen glass and the backlight, meaning that users can input different commands based on how hard they press on the screen. Many suggest that 3D Touch will completely revolutionize the smartphone industry, and it seems as though a number of companies have already begun experimenting with the technology.
In order for the tech to really take off, however, app developers will need to revamp their apps to use it. Well, a big one has recently updated its app to use 3D Touch, further cementing the technology in the smartphone industry. That app developer is Facebook, and while the new app is big for the case of 3D Touch, it doesn’t seem as though there’s too much of a change in how the app works.
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr
The most notable change is that users can press down on the Facebook app icon, which will bring up a menu offering a number of options, including “Take Photo/Video,” “Upload Photo/Video,” and “Write Post.”
These features basically do what their name suggests. Clicking on “take photo” will quick launch the camera, from which users can simply take a photo to be posted to their profile. If a user takes a photo through the normal Apple camera app, they can upload their photo to Facebook using the quick menu.
This menu will certainly allow users to access Facebook functions quickly and easily, however apart from that, it seems like there are no other ways in which the app makes use of 3D Touch.
Originally 3D Touch was only available on Apple’s own stock apps, however the Instagram app was also among the apps that offered it. Facebook owns Instagram, so it makes sense that Facebook would be among the first third-party apps to take advantage of the technology. Facebook is also one of the most-used apps, meaning that the feature will reach a much larger audience than before.
Facebook owns a number of other apps, including Messenger, WhatsApp, Moments and Groups, and these apps have yet to take advantage of 3D Touch, however it would be hard to imagine these apps taking too long to begin using the feature.
3D Touch has been likened by many as the right click for the smartphone, however the technology has way more potential than that, especially when it comes to things like gaming.
One example would be in a car racing app, that could use 3D Touch for braking, with simple touching on the brake lightly braking the car and pressing down hard braking the car.
A number of other changes have been made in the Facebook app, most importantly the addition of a “Shopping” feed in the app. This essentially allows users to search for products, and many products can even be bought straight from the Facebook app. This feature is still being tested, so if you don’t see it yet it may not have rolled out to you just yet.
Of course, other social media networks aren’t going to take this sitting down. A number of other top apps have also announced that their apps will now take advantage of 3D Touch. These include the likes of Twitter, Pinterest, Jet, Shazam, OpenTable, DropBox, Evernote, and so on.
Most of these apps do much the same thing as Facebook, simply adding a quick-access menu that can be accessed by pressing down on the app icon on the home screen. Twitter, for example, allows users to either “search,” write a “new tweet,” or write a “new message.” Pinterest users can do things like look at what’s trending, search pins, and create a new board. Dropbox users can quickly access a recently uploaded file, search their files, upload a photo, or look at offline files.
Only time will tell how the use of 3D Touch will progress over time, and while the likes of Facebook and Twitter using 3D Touch is important for the adoption of the technology, the potential of the technology is severely understated with recent updates. It will certainly be interesting to see how companies take advantage of the technology in the near future.