Apple’s iPhone 6s is the most technologically advanced smartphone to date, offering incremental updates on almost all of the hardware aspects of the phone over last year’s model.
There’s one feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that promises to revolutionize the smartphone industry, leading us to believe that the slew of new devices will be the most important iPhone release since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. That feature? 3D Touch.
So what makes 3D Touch so special? 3D Touch represents the first new way for a user to interact with their smartphone since the invention of the touch screen. Sure, there are things like voice control, but voice control simply replaces things that were already controllable through touch, rather than adding a completely new layer of control.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about 3D Touch is how nonchalant Apple is about its release. 3D Touch isn’t simply a way of seeing previews of emails without having to open the email itself – instead it’s an entirely new way to input control into the phone, and one that developers can take advantage of as well.
The technology behind 3D Touch is pretty significant too. According to Apple, sensors within the iPhone 6s display are essentially able to measure tiny changes in distance between the cover glass and the backlight. These changes are a matter of a few micrometers between simply tapping on the display and hard-pressing to use 3D Touch.
In fact, it would be hard to imagine other tech companies sitting back and letting Apple take all the glory for 3D Touch. I would argue that come CES, we will see 3D Touch variants from the likes of Samsung, Sony and more. You heard it here though folks – Apple was first, a claim that Apple has for very few features. Instead of being first, Apple tends to take what already exists and improves it, but in this case, Apple leads the pack.
I mentioned before that developers could take advantage of 3D Touch, and that’s certainly a big step in ensuring that the technology takes off. Apple’s own apps of course make use of the new feature. For example, Apple Maps allows users to press down on the app icon, after which a small menu will pop down, permitting users to choose things like “Directions Home” and “Mark My Location,” among other things. The camera app allows users to quickly “Take Selfie,” “Record Video,” “Record Slo-Mo,” or “Take Photo,” without even having to open the app.
Third party apps also make use of the new feature. OpenTable allows users to see their favorites and their upcoming reservations. Instagram allows users to quickly create a new post or view activity on their account. Last but not least, News360 allows users to see the top stories or see local news.
3D Touch is, however, still a young technology. Right now it seems to be limited to things like menus, but imagine what could happen once developers start to really take advantage of it. A car game, for example, could have a brake button, with the car breaking harder or softer depending on how hard the user presses on the button.
Images courtesy of Apple
It’s important to mention that Apple didn’t just add 3D Touch to the new iPhone 6s. It’s a big release for other reasons too. For example, Apple has reportedly doubled the RAM in the iPhone 6s to 2GB, making an already fast phone even faster. As if that wasn’t enough, the new A9 processor promises to be Apple’s most powerful yet.
Then there’s the camera. Sure, it’s no DSLR, but the average person who simply wants to capture moments in their life will be pleasantly surprised to see the results of the camera on the iPhone 6s. One of the biggest changes on paper for the camera is the change to 12 megapixels from 8 megapixels. I know what you’re going to say. More megapixels doesn’t mean better images. You’re right. But what more megapixels does mean is that as displays get higher in higher in resolution, photos taken from our iPhone will be able to keep up.
The iPhone 6s could easily be called the iPhone “success.” Apple has hit the ball out of the park once again, introducing a completely new way to interact with our devices. It will be interesting to see how other device manufacturers respond in coming months.