Not convinced by Apple’s ugly iPhone 11 and oddball iPhone XR2? Apple has just spelt out something else you’re not going to like.
In releasing its first iOS 13 beta this week, Apple might as well have written on a billboard that its class-leading 3D Touch haptic technology has been pulled from the next iPhones. Why? Because iOS 13 made every gesture and shortcut which relied on 3D Touch accessible instead via a standard long press. There’s simply no reason for the technology to exist anymore.
Furthermore, this disappointing change had been feared for some time. Renowned Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo first tipped the move in April 2018 and Barclays analysts followed this up with a more definitive confirmation that 3D Touch “will be eliminated” in a report last week.
From a financial perspective, the move makes sense: the mechanism behind 3D Touch is bulky and expensive and Apple is tipped to fit a larger battery with the internal space it gains. But from an innovation standpoint, it’s deeply frustrating. Not only was 3D Touch the best haptic feedback system on the market, it delivered numerous clever shortcuts much faster than using a long press.
Tip: try using 3D Touch (a quick, hard press) to bring up Quick Actions in app menus and on emails and URLs to ‘Peek and Pop’ which loads previews without you having to open them. 3D Touch can be used all over iOS, from the on-screen keyboard and Control Center, to app icons and more.
The real tragedy, however, is Apple never truly committed to 3D Touch. It never worked out a way to make the functionality intuitive and, having debuted it on the iPhone 6S in 2015, suspicions rose when it failed to appear in generation after generation of iPad Pro. Apple had developed a clear product differentiator, then failed to capitalise on it.
So yes, Apple’s new iPhones will have worse haptics than the last four generations of iPhone and that isn’t how progress is meant to work. Still in denial? Industry reaction is universal.
What should you do? The smart money waits. We already know Apple’s 2020 iPhones feature a major redesign and, potentially, the return of Touch ID in a revolutionary new way. So no, there’s no reason for you to spend big on what I can objectively say are the ugliest iPhones ever made.