The first reviews for the new iPhones, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, went live Tuesday morning.
Here’s what critics had to say about 3D Touch, arguably the biggest feature in the new iPhones that lets you “touch” your apps by pushing into the screen in order to access more features.
Tech Insider’s Steve Kovach got to try the phones for himself and he’s convinced 3D Touch is going to be a really big deal.
Here’s what other critics had to say about the feature
“…3D Touch, the most significant of the iPhone 6s’s tentpole features, is. Easily.
“Built on a system of sensors that detect touch pressure across the face of the iPhone 6s’s display, 3D Touch triggers pop-up menus and previews based on how firmly you press down. Currently, it supports two interactions ‘peek’ and ‘pop,’ with peek calling up a preview of an app or message, or a brief contextual menu, and pop launching the app itself. Each interaction is accompanied by a different tiny vibration that helps you distinguish between them. It is surprisingly useful — particularly for power users who do a lot of work from their iPhones. I’m already using it constantly, and I am impressed with how good it is at interpreting the force of my touch. It’s very much an Apple innovation — a seemingly subtle change so thoughtfully executed that it proves transformative.”
“After a few days, I found 3D Touch natural and useful. But it feels like it’s just getting started. For one thing, it only works on Apple’s own apps for now, though it is available for third party apps, and I’m anxious to see what developers do with it. Games, in particular, could make great use of 3D Touch. Apple says Apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Dropbox and Facebook plan to support 3D Touch.
“For another, I felt Apple itself could do more with it. For instance, some Apple apps which seem naturals for the feature, like Stocks and Weather, don’t use it at all. (Apple says to stay tuned.) Others use it inconsistently. In Music, pressing the icon lets you quickly go back to a song you had paused. But in Safari, a press doesn’t let you go back to a web page you were using.
“I believe that 3D Touch is a big deal and can be a bigger advance once developers, and Apple itself, starts expanding its uses.”
“Two of my favourite examples of 3D Touch: In the Notes app I was able to press down harder to scribble darker notes than when I pressed with a lighter touch. Pressing against the onscreen keyboard turns it into a trackpad.
“3D Touch is something I think you’ll ultimately embrace, but don’t expect to master it immediately, even with subtle touch feedback. Even after several days, I sometimes pressed too hard or too gently or wasn’t precise enough. For example, on the iPhone 6 when I press along the left side of the display to get to a multitasking view, I sometimes inadvertently summoned a search screen instead. I also struggled to get the icons on the home screens to wiggle so that I could rearrange them as on older iPhones.”
“Press hard on some app icons or other spots and you get quick access to shortcuts. I had to remind myself to use 3D Touch at first, but after two weeks, it’s becoming part of my iPhone muscle memory. In Mail, I now press hard on a message to preview it, then swipe left to delete. I love how you can hold down on a link to see a preview of the website, without leaving the app you’re in. Press harder and you can “pop” into that app. Third-party app support could make it even more useful.
“However, in other places, I’m simply faster at using the now-antiquated methods. It’s speedier to double-tap the home button than to awkwardly press down on the left side of the screen to switch apps. 3D Touch also doesn’t yet work everywhere I want it to. Why can’t I hold down the Wi-Fi button in the Control Center to jump into Settings?”
“Even still, 3D Touch already feels much more natural than Force Touch on the Apple Watch, and companies like Pinterest and Instagram and Dropbox are already showing off interesting demos. (I’m sure 3D Touch-enabled apps will be in the App Store the second the phone actually goes on sale.) And the potential for pressure-sensitive gaming is off the charts; 3D Touch might make gaming on a iPhone something much more interesting than furiously swiping on the screen. There are a lot of things that have to fall into place, but 3D Touch overall feels like one of those ideas that only Apple can push into the mainstream — if Samsung or Huawei had delivered a similar feature, it would almost certainly be a gimmick. But the foundation for 3D Touch is solid and well-considered, and it’s easy to see how the latent potential can turn into reality.”
TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino:
“Here’s one thing that I think it’s important to state: 3D Touch is not the new right-click. I have a feeling that this is going to be the easy comparison and the early chatter about it by people who haven’t even tried it is already leaning that way. I can’t stress enough that this is not accurate. Right-click is about adding actions and complexity, a 3D Touch shortcut is about taking away actions and reducing complexity.”
Mashable’s Christina Warren:
“For me, 3D Touch is something that once you use, you won’t be able to stop. Going back to my iPhone 6 after spending time with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S, I feel lost. I constantly want to Peek at links in Messages or preview photos.”
“In addition to swiping and tapping, 3D Touch adds yet another gesture to the mix. You can now press down firmly on the screen to trigger extra options… I love how it feels. Is that creepy? It’s super satisfying. “
Stay tuned to Tech Insider this month as we plan to have full coverage of the new iPhones.
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