Apple’s new iPhone 6s/Plus, iPad Pro to usher in ‘3D Touch’ next-gen Force Touch input paradigm

“One of the cornerstone features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, to be announced next Wednesday, is a screen based on the Force Touch technology from the latest MacBook trackpads and the Apple Watch,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “However… the Force Touch feature in the new iPhones will actually be a next-generation version of the technology. According to sources familiar with the new iPhones, the new pressure-sensitive screen will likely be called the ‘3D Touch Display.'”

“While the MacBook trackpads and Apple Watch act on two levels of pressure, the differentiation between a tap and a press, the new iPhones will actually differentiate and unique act upon three levels of pressure: a tap, a press, and a deeper press, according to sources,” Gurman reports. “The 3D Touch name is therefore derived from the new Force Touch sensor’s ability to sense three dimensions of pressure, rather than just two. This opens up the door to new user-interface tricks, such as shortcut gestures across the iPhone 6s version of iOS 9.”

“The updated Force Touch screen is also set to make its way to the iPad Pro, where it will be leveraged by a non-traditional-looking stylus accessory,” Gurman reports. “The iPad Pro will be announced on Wednesday as well, according to sources.”

Read more in the full article here.

Revealed: How Force Touch works and feels in Apple’s next-gen iPhone 6s – August 10, 2015
Apple’s Force Touch: The future of mobile interfaces – August 4, 2015
Why Force Touch on the iPhone will be awesome – July 29, 2015
Apple’s Force Touch iPhone 6s to be major differentiator, put rivals at further disadvantage – July 6, 2015
Apple assemblers begin making next-gen iPhones with Force Touch – June 27, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s ‘iPhone 6s’ to feature stronger 7000 series aluminum, slightly thicker for Force Touch – June 17, 2015
Apple’s new Force Touch patent application reveals stylus, virtual paint brush, 3D buttons interactions – May 28, 2015
Apple’s forthcoming iOS 9 supports ‘iPhone 6s’ Force Touch – May 26, 2015
Apple patent application reveals work on Force Touch for iOS devices and more – March 5, 2015
Force Touch rumored to arrive exclusively on ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ – April 2, 2015
Apple’s next-gen iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus to feature Force Touch – February 28, 2015


  1. The 3D Touch name is therefore derived from the new Force Touch sensor’s ability to sense three dimensions of pressure, rather than just two.

    I hope this interpretation is wrong because ‘3D’ by no means indicates three levels of pressure on a pad. Let’s be clear: Clicking on pad is 1 single dimension. Up and down. The end. ‘3D’ is about using three dimensional space, which has nothing at all to do with what this article is discussing.

    The last thing we need is more WRONG definitions applied to technology. We’re already being infested with BAD SCIENCE these days from ‘scientists’ who are science illiterate. Let’s not start pulling the same nonsense in technology.

    1. Such a screen would be 2D space plus a 1D touch time dimension. That would be 3D, but not in the traditional sense. Adding the 1D time dimension to traditional 3D would make it 4D.

      1. Well I think that is a perfectly logical interpretation even if Derek doesn’t. It can be interpreted either way, probably in others too. Certainly not going to get anal about it. Perhaps it should be called a 3T force touch but that sounds very Dell somehow.

    2. I’m with you brother, and I felt the same way when that group of singers went and named themselves “The Fifth Dimension”. I mean, what the hell is up with that?

    3. Agreed!

      …but maybe its 3D quality has something to do with 3D space displayed in the interface, and stronger touches manipulate deeper objects.

      I doubt 3D would be used to describe levels of touch.

      1. You’re going to have to explain why this is interpreted to have anything to do with the z axis. Does three points of depth have ANY relationship to the GUI? Please point it out. IF this actually is the case, then great. But attempting to think of a 2D pad with three levels of 1D pushing/tapping and call it a 3D interface is absurd. I want to actually SEE what this can do then decide its proper name. So far, VERY poor naming.

    4. Perhaps “D” is shorthand for Degrees of Freedom (DoF). Tap, press, deep press offers three DoF.

      While I appreciate your attempt to defend scientific and engineering terminology, D.C., that ship sailed long ago.

      1. 3D in this sense is correct.
        1D is for point and click.
        2D is for multi-touch, drag and swipe equivalent to length and width.
        3D is 2D as above plus force touch. As the illustration show there is an additional layer of sensors beneath the surface screen. There are now 2 layers of sensors available for UI control. This perception of depth makea it.3D. The UI now responds to length, width, and height dimension of inputs.

  2. “3D”, “Forcetouch”, speedbump, slightly better camera.

    IMO, these are features that don’t warrant an upgrade from my wife and I with our iPhone 6/Plus.

    As far as the iPad Pro goes, I already have an iPad Air 2 and a retina mini. These serve my purposes well.

    However, I have been wanting a much larger iPad for years, one that has more advanced file management and networking features; or even one that could run both iOS and OSX.

    Over the years I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the iPad will never be innovated and remain a completely HOBBLED device, thanks to Apple’s existing leadership.

    We don’t have to guess what Tim Cook’s innovated iPad will look like. A large, still hobbled iPad that’s able to run two apps at once and uses a stylus (whoop de doo).

    As far as Apple TV goes, I will never ditch my ROKU for a hobbled Apple TV… even if they do increase the price by 50 bucks (lol).

    My once favorite company is now unrecognizable.

    1. What’s “hobbled” for some is perfect for others. It isn’t as though every Apple product is perfect for everyone. All my needs are met by Apple except at the very high end and I’m considering (gasp!) a PC workstation for very high end work. My gripe is the Mac Pro needs yearly updating and preferably a tower version also. The iPad WAS an innovation. You’re thinking the Microsoft way like with Surface where the full OS is on there. I use my iPad for media consumption, a little gaming and some work related. Wonderful for that. Every device has it’s purpose but yeah the lines are crossing. I have no doubt Apple will make an OS X iPad sooner or later when they feel it’s time. The new Apple TV will probably make your Roku look like junk. We’ll find out.

    2. The camera update would be a lot more than “slightly updated” if the rumors are true…this alone is enough for me to upgrade my 6. It’s a personal decision. For the the folks with 5s or below it will be huge.
      Regarding the iPad Pro, I wouldn’t want to see it bogged down with OS X. The beauty of the iPad is the simplicity, instant on, battery life and ecosystem. The last thing I need is another desktop and file system the hunt around in. If I need full power, I fire up the MBPro…

  3. No question for me, as I still have the 5S currently. Between last year and this year there is plenty of goodies to warrant an upgrade. Really need to see what the iPad Pro brings besides a bigger/pressure sensitive screen. A “pro” machine is going to need a little more than that IMO.

  4. Clearly Apple is transitioning “The Mouse” into “3D Touch” interface on iOS mobile devices to prepare for MultiTouch OS X driven device in the future. Apple: Kill the mouse. Kill the Keyboard. Go ALL 3D MultiTouch. Please..?

  5. It would be cool if they could simulate bumped surfaces using the taptic engine. What if on the new iPad Pro, when you bring up a keyboard and slide your finger across the screen, you could feel the ridges of the virtual keys. Or at least a subtle keypress click.

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