Apple’s 3D Touch feature, which was first introduced on the iPhone 6s lineup back in 2015, is likely to be on the chopping block in the near future.
Late last month, a group of Barclays analysts reported that 3D Touch would be absent from this year’s iPhone lineup. Importantly, they made that prediction after speaking with sources within Apple’s supply chain. This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard this, which suggests that there’s evidence on the hardware side that the feature is being killed off.
Now, there’s evidence on the software side as well.
Quick Actions and Peek
On its iOS 13 preview webpage, Apple indicates that the Quick Actions menu and the Peek preview features will be available on any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 13 or iPadOS.
Previously, these features were exclusive to 3D Touch-equipped iPhones. The fact that Apple is opening them up to other devices suggests that 3D Touch is going away — likely to be replaced by Haptic Touch on newer devices and a simple long press on older devices.
Haptic Touch, which was first debuted on the iPhone XR last year, is essentially just a long press bundled with haptic feedback. It doesn’t require any special hardware like 3D Touch does.
Keep in mind that this change is essentially good for Apple users. It means that Quick Actions and long-press Peeks will be available on all devices — including the iPhone XR and the iPad Air 2 when iOS 13 drops later this year.
But unfortunately for fans of 3D Touch, the fact that Apple is bringing those previously exclusive features to a wider range of devices kind of makes it seem like 3D Touch isn’t going to stick around for much longer.
The new long-press-to-activate Quick Actions and Peek previews are even supported by devices that have 3D Touch. That probably foreshadows the fact that 3D Touch won’t be included on this year’s stable of new iPhones.
Which 3D Touch Features are Going Away?
While Quick Actions and Peek will continue to stick around in future iPhones without 3D Touch, there’s a good chance that other 3D Touch features will be killed off.
For example, Peek and Pop. While the Peek portion of the functionality will stay, “Popping” into a notification by pressing firmly on the display probably won’t. In fact, this was hinted at by WebKit code changes a couple weeks ago.
That’s because, while any iOS device can support a long press, a firm press is solidly a 3D Touch exclusive. The nixing of 3D Touch will probably do away with other features, too.
For example, 3D Touch iPhones can sense the pressure of a user’s finger when drawing or writing in markup mode. Firmly pressing on the left edge of the display will activate the app switcher.
Without any sort of Haptic Touch analog, it’s likely that features such as these will also go the way of iTunes in the future.
Learn More: 19 Things You Can Do with 3D Touch