Is Apple’s 3D Touch Feature on the Chopping Block?

Apple's Newest Patent Could Pave the Way for 'Glasses Free' 3D iPhones and More
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3D Touch has been a love-it, hate-it, or never-use-it experience for many users. On one hand, many people view the feature as gimmicky and not any different than a long press on the display. On the other, developers have found great uses for 3D Touch including pressure sensitive game controls (such as throttle control in racing games), contextual menus, and more.

But it sometimes seems like people hardly use 3D Touch and that some may not even be aware of its existence. In a poll ran by MacRumors last September, less than half of respondents said they used 3D Touch frequently, while 30% said they rarely used it. Additionally, 14% of respondents said they don’t use it at all and less than 10% didn’t have a supported device.

So not everyone uses 3D Touch, but it’s still an important part of iOS nonetheless. With that being said, mumblings from the rumor mill suggest it’s possible Apple could do-away with the feature all together.

A New iPhone Without 3D Touch?

Apple is rumored to be working on three new iPhones that will come in 5.8”, 6.1”, and 6.5” display sizes. The 6.1” is likely to be a cheaper mid-range iPhone model with the other two being the next generation of iPhone X—introducing us to a Plus-sized model.

The 6.1” device is rumored to drop many features that are standard in newer iPhones, including the dual-camera system and 3D Touch.

These new rumors may call the future of 3D Touch into question. After all, if Apple removes the feature from one iPhone, what’s stopping them from removing it from others as well? Current iPads don’t have 3D Touch, and many features can be used without 3D Touch.

However, 3D Touch can be a powerful feature when it’s used on a regular basis. Users can use it to bring up shortcuts (such as calling favorite contacts), preview content (“peek”), and access snippets of information or access simple controls through widgets. It really is like using the right click feature on a mouse.

It’s too soon to say whether or not 3D Touch is on its way out the door, but if it’s removed from future iPhones, it will be missed. And it’ll certainly be interesting, nonetheless, to see what changes Apple makes to iOS to compensate.

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