3D Touch is an incredibly difficult feature that Apple got just right

“I don’t want to say it’s easy to add pressure sensitivity to a touchscreen, because it’s not. It’s incredibly hard. Apple had to engineer a system of sensors that could accurately detect touch pressure across the face of the iPhone’s screen, and do it on a product that’s roughly the same size and weight (and exactly the same price) as its predecessor,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “This is tricky stuff, and while it’s stuff that Apple excels at, it’s not hard to imagine someone like Samsung coming out with a phone next year with exactly the same hardware feature.”

“But here’s the thing about Apple: The hardware isn’t enough,” Snell writes. “Holding the iPhone 6s in my hand, though, it was utterly clear that Apple had done a tremendous amount of work on the software side to take advantage of the hardware it had built. This is the stuff that separates Apple from its competition, and I can’t think of a more impressive example than 3D Touch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Have fun trying (and failing) to knock off 3D Touch, half-assed fragmandroid peddlers.

As we wrote last week: Like Apple Watch, 3D Touch will save users bits of time throughout each day that really add up vs. those with inferior smartphones (yes, that now includes iPhone 6/Plus and older). Those with 3D Touch iPhones will be like those wearing Apple Watches: Faster and more productive than those without.

As we wrote last month:

Force Touch will be more important than most people think.

And Android, littered across a veritable junkyard full of disparate devices, will not be able to follow.MacDailyNews, February 28, 2015

How Apple painstakingly built iPhone 6s/Plus’ revolutionary 3D Touch over ‘multi, multi, multi years’ – September 10, 2015
Apple iPhone 6s/Plus’ revolutionary 3D Touch primes suppliers for success – September 10, 2015
3D Touch iPhone 6s/Plus: Apple’s pressure-based screens deliver a world beyond cold glass – September 10, 2015
Engadget hands-on with iPhone 6s/Plus: Using 3D Touch feels completely natural – September 9, 2015
Apple unveils the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with 3D Touch, Apple A9, 12MP iSight camera, 4K video and more – September 9, 2015
Apple’s new Force Touch patent application reveals stylus, virtual paint brush, 3D buttons interactions – May 28, 2015


    1. Huawei rushed out a demo of the Mate S with force touch a couple of weeks before the Apple keynote. It barely works.
      A gimmicky magnifying glass feature that uncontrollably zooms in and out. At least drug dealers will find the scales app for weighing 100g – 400g useful.



      No doubt Huawei wanted to show an example of prior art on a phone, for the rest of the Android copiers to point to in any future lawsuits.

      By 2020 when judge Lucy eventually hears the case, every Android phone will have force touch, pressure touch, depth touch that works exactly like Apple’s implementation.
      Judge Lucy will find that Apple simply made an obvious and minor evolution of what had been shown before and was not harmed by the slavish copying.

  1. I agree that 3D Touch, harder glass, harder aluminum, longer battery life, ApplePay, a second generation finger print sensor and rose gold are all great features. But I’m not made of money, so I’m going to keep my iPhone 5s for one more year. I will upgrade my iPhone every 3 years. Thank you.

    1. Unfortunately, I am not made of money either, and like you I have a 5S. For me, however, the combination of all the improvements of the 6S over the 5S make a damn good case to make the switch. Also, did your carrier reduce your monthly fees once your initial 2-year contract is completed (assuming you bought the 5S on a carrier 2-year contract)? If not, you may already be paying for a 6S that you are not benefiting from.

      1. Hey Spark, that would be a great idea, but no, I haven’t had a contract on my phone in years. I paid cash for it. I forked over $648.84 plus tax and shipping for a grand total of $714.85 to T-Mobile back on 09/19/2013. On the same day, I bought an iPhone 5c for my boyfriend for $528.00 plus tax and shipping for a grand total of $583.14. That’s a total of $1,297.99 for the two of us.

        Our rate plan is already “reduced”. We pay $80 plus tax, or about $95 per month for our two lines, which include unlimited talk, unlimited text (including international), 1 GB high speed data (each) and unlimited 128K data thereafter, and unlimited high speed data for streaming music such as Apple Music.

        I’ll spend another $1,300 next year for a couple of iPhone 7’s. It’s just not in the budget right now fur us to upgrade. We don’t resell our used phones. We donate them to family and friends in Central America.

        1. you can buy a new one for $25 a month for the 6s and less for the 6.
          No reason to pay it all at once its free no interest to pay it monthly.
          Verizon gives you a discount for purchasing it on a monthly plan vs 2 year contract

  2. I think I will be replacing my 5s with 6s having to pay only about $200. Here’s how.

    Discover card just announced 10% cashback on ApplePay in-store transactions until the end of the year. A quick review of my Mint.com account reveals that my wife and I spent some $2,100 during the last three months of last year in stores that currently accept ApplePay (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, etc). If I can focus on doing all my relevant shopping in these stores, I’m sure I could reach at least last year’s numbers. Discover will give me $200 cashback; eBay (or CraigsList) will fetch some $300 for my old 5s. I’ll need about $200 more to pay for the new 6s (and retail tax on it.).

    Another important consideration: Discover cashback can be used to buy gift cards in other stores for even more money: $40 cashback gets you $50 card for Bed, Bath & Beyond, for example. Not many stores offer these deals, but since we buy stuff in some of them, this will extend the value of Discover’s 10% promo even further.

    1. You may want to keep in mind that for some of Discover’s cash back offers (e.g. the category change every 3 months) have an upper limit of I think $3000 per quarter. If you exceed that you just get the 1% for the ‘excess’ amount.

    1. The latest generation of gorilla glass in the iPhone is so scratch-resistant that you really don’t need a screen protector. You can’t scratch the screen with your keys even if you deliberately try to.

      1. I recall decent results on the key scratch test on the original iPhone. That was a mind opener to a lot of people. I think we are way past this. The problem is, even the sapphire glass on the AW is scratching for some owners, and they don’t even recall how it happened. That means it was normal use. If sapphire can’t stop scratches, GG4 won’t either. I think it’s reasonable to provide a sacrificial layer to protect your investment. I hope it works.

          1. Yes it makes logical sense. But the couple of people on macrumors said that it didn’t happen like that. We brought up the diamond concern. They said no diamonds, and were certain. Who knows what lurks in the environment, from day to day. It may very well have been sand or dust sized diamond or sapphire particles – naturally. But the point was, it happened without purpose. It’s someone’s word and I know how that is. But the point I am making, what’s the harm of adding a sacrificial layer. Now, because of 3D Touch, is it a handy cap? 🙂

    1. Samsung’s business model as a “fast copier” means it doesn’t have the leadership or engineering expertise to do anything other than put lipstick pigs. It’s copies are of the just barely “good enough” for the cheap seats, but nowhere near good enough to garner a price premium. This is why the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi can undercut price and take away Samsung share on the bottom, while Apple is eating its lunch at the top.

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