Archive for May 28, 2019

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Apple Expected to Remove 3D Touch

Joe Rossignol:

Last week, in a research note shared with MacRumors, a team of Barclays analysts “confirmed” that 3D Touch “will be eliminated” in all 2019 iPhones, as they predicted back in August 2018. The analysts gathered this information from Apple suppliers following a trip to Asia earlier this month.


Apple already replaced 3D Touch with Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR in order to achieve a nearly edge-to-edge LCD on the device, and it is likely the feature will be expanded to all 2019 iPhones. Haptic Touch is simply a marketing name for a long press combined with haptic feedback from the Taptic Engine.

Haptic Touch works well, but it isn’t a replacement for 3D Touch because it’s just about feedback, not input. 3D Touch had the potential to be like modifier keys on the Mac, a way to provide an additional “dimension” of input. iOS really needs something like that. I’m not sure why Apple never really did much with it, but the potential was wasted. Given that, and the fact that it never made it across the iPhone product line or to any iPads, I can certainly see why they would get rid of it and doubt most people will miss it (or even knew about it in the first place).

Kyle Howells:

3D Touch should have replaced/been the same as long press in almost all situations. It eliminates wait times and makes everything faster.

Instead Apple confused everything by having 3 different things happen depending on how you tap an app icon.

Neil Sardesai:

Man that’s a shame. Especially on iPad where long press is a super overloaded gesture, 3D Touch would really alleviate that

Russell Ivanovic:

Unpopular opinion I suspect, but 3D touch is one of the worst usability mistakes Apple ever made (IMHO). Difficult gesture that in places like the home screen conflicts with other gestures. I shouldn’t have to be the Lionel Messi of fingers to rearrange my icons 😂

Nick Lockwood:

Damn. 😔 3D touch is great, especially for games - there’s nothing wrong with the tech itself, only the dreadful way Apple chose to integrate it into the UI.

If it had just been introduced as a universal contextual menu shortcut it could’ve been so powerful.

Steven Aquino:

What concerns me is the Touch Bar (and 3D Touch, another thing I like) kind of exist in the netherworld. Limited in availability and largely unrefined.


Update (2019-05-30): Vatsal Manot:

Simply put - it failed to become an idiomatic element of the iPhone’s UX language.


Haptic Touch over 3D Touch is clearly a degraded user experience. Do not let anyone trick you into believing otherwise, Apple most of all.


As a developer, Apple has not made it easy for me to implement a 3D Touch action. Instead of creating a canonical UIGestureRecognizer sublcass for 3D Touch (as they so easily could have), they decided to leave it up to the developer to implement.

John Gruber:

3D Touch is a great idea but Apple never rolled it out well, and it was never discoverable.


I think it should have always been a shortcut for a long-press, pure and simple. Just a faster way to long-press. But because 3D Touch is not just a shortcut for a long-press, but is not available on any iPad nor many iPhones, developers could never count on it, so they never really did anything with it. It doesn’t get used much because there’s not much you can do with it.

Kyle Howells:

Either way without universal support across all iOS devices Apple’s never been able to rely on 3D Touch being there.

This means either they use long press to reveal the same action (as with control centre), or the feature just isn’t available (home screen 3D touch widgets on iPad).

Lily Ballard:

I really hope the rumors are wrong and 3D Touch isn’t going away. Apple hasn’t done enough with 3D Touch but what they have done is irreplaceable. For example, you can peek at Today widgets from Springboard with it! I miss being able to do that on my iPad.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Should iOS have any pro features if users aren’t going to find them? …should macOS have any pro features if users aren’t going to find them? 🧐

Nick Heer:

I would prefer to see improvements to 3D Touch; but, because it hasn’t changed much or been more thoroughly applied in the nearly four years since it was introduced, I think the digital scrap heap is probably best. This rumour, of course, leads to the question of what to do with its dependencies on the iPhone. The biggest question, for me, is what happens to notifications: since they were adjusted in iOS 10 to make use of 3D Touch, they’ve never felt at home on non-3D Touch devices.

Update (2019-05-31): A. Lee Bennett Jr.:

Man that would suck. I agree with many that it isn’t well implemented, but I do use it frequently. I hate that FB actually chose to drop support. I used it to quickly post a photo via 3D Touch on the app icon. And I use it to edit the latest photo with Instaflash ALL the time.

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

Can’t imagine going back to a world without 3D Touch. I use it multiple times a day and continue to miss it on the iPad. A long press is not a good substitution.

Update (2019-06-04): Joe Rossignol:

Now, on the software side, there are changes that suggest the rumor is accurate. It really looks like pressure-sensitive 3D Touch is going away.

Benjamin Mayo:

3D Touch is basically nerfed into the ground on iOS 13. It doesn’t do anything fast anymore. They’ve instead added Haptic Touch gestures everywhere.

Update (2019-09-11): Juli Clover:

Apple has officially nixed 3D Touch in its newest iPhones.

Update (2019-09-13): Joshua Emmons:

For the first time I’m hesitating about upgrading my iPhone. I don’t want to give up 3D Touch. I know no one else cares, but I use it constantly and bemoan every time I have to “long tap” something on my iPad. Bit by bit it wears my patience down to a nib.

Update (2019-10-03): Juli Clover:

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Haptic Touch and how it differs from the 3D Touch feature that’s been available since the iPhone 6s.

See also: Hacker News.

iPod touch 7th Generation

Joe Rossignol:

Apple today announced a new iPod touch with headline features being a faster A10 Fusion chip and a new 256GB storage option.

That’s the same processor as the iPhone 7, up from the iPhone 6–era A8. It has the same 4-inch screen size as the iPhone SE, but with just 3/4 the weight and a worse camera and less comfortable shape. Unless you really want the small size, I think most people would prefer a used iPhone SE or iPhone 7, which would likely also be cheaper.

Rob Griffiths:

Of course, to find it on Apple’s site, you need to know that an iPod touch is categorized as Music.

Even on the day of its release it doesn’t get a spot on Apple’s homepage.

Michael Love:

Actually this is very good news for iPhone SE fans, because if they’re launching a brand new 4-inch device now - which is therefore going to have to be supported by iOS until at least 2022 or 2023 - it seems like 4-inch screens aren’t going anywhere.

Also, the article’s theory that Apple is about the drop the A8 - and therefore the iPhone 6/6+ along with the 5s - makes sense; those are the last devices left with only 1 GB of RAM, not to mention that the A9 was a huge performance leap over the A7/A8.

So as of this summer, the new baseline is going to be an A9 and 2 GB of RAM. Which means that the oldest supported iOS device will have about the same CPU performance that the 2018 Android flagships did.

Manton Reece:

It’s best to think of the iPod Touch as a very small, $199 iPad. I think the value for that price is better than any other Apple product. Good to see it updated.

John Gruber:

In the early years, I think a lot of iPod Touches were sold for use by kids. But today, most kids use hand-me-down iPhones. I think a lot of new iPods Touch are sold for enterprise purposes — warehouse scanning, point-of-sale, that sort of thing.

Update (2019-05-30): Kirk McElhearn:

The iPod touch is still a great device if you have a large music library, and it’s perfect for a kid who wants to play games on a small device yet not have cellular access. Or let a kid use it to take photos; while it’s not the best camera in an Apple device, and it’s only 8 Mp, it’s still a great way for kids to get into photography.


It’s widely used in industry, in warehouses, as point of sale devices, and in health care. Even Apple’s retail stores uses iPod touch devices (at least in the UK).

Tambourine Man:

A celular chip can’t possibly cost much these days. Slap one in and you’ve got a US$ 200 iPhone that would sell like hot cakes. Make a larger version and rule the world.