How To Use 3D Touch

Apple revolutionized the phone touch screen when they introduced multi-touch – the ability to use more than one finger to touch the screen and manipulate it. Now, with the introduction of 3D touch, Apple has made multi-touch multi-dimensional.

3D touch is an intuitive to navigate through iOS faster than ever. You can hard press apps, link, messages, and more to get to where you need to go.

Most of the uses for 3D touch are centred around the hard press. To perform this action, tap as normal, but then hold your finger down a little longer and press firmly. You don’t need to press too hard though – when you’re press you should feel a little buzz. That’s your phone letting you know it worked.

This brings up a wide variety of options depending on what you’ve pressed. You can share things, access widgets, answer messages and more. Let’s find out what all you can do with 3D touch.

Requirements For 3D Touch

3D Touch was introduced with the iPhone 6s. It is available on the 6s Plus and on all later models. It is not available on the iPhone SE, despite the fact that they were released at the same time.

Your phone has to be running iOS 9 or later. However, 3D touch was never used to its full potential until the iOS 10 update. To take full advantage of 3D touch, upgrade to iOS 10. You should do it anyways, it’s pretty handy!

Home Screen Actions with 3D Touch

If you’ve never really used 3D touch, the Home screen is a good place to get familiar with the action and some of the possibilities it holds. For example, every app icon can be hard pressed to reveal a variety of options, even if it is just the App Store standard shortcut.

Follow these steps to try it out for yourself.

1.Navigate to your Home screen. Find the Settings app.

img  settings app - How To Use 3D Touch

2.Tap the Settings app, but press firmly on it until you feel some haptic feedback.

img  settings press  - How To Use 3D Touch

3.This will open a shortcut menu that includes many of the common things you would access the Settings app for. Tap any one of the shortcuts to access that part of the app.

img  settings shortcuts  - How To Use 3D Touch

4.Let’s try the same thing with a different app: Weather.

img  weather app  - How To Use 3D Touch

5.Tap and firmly press on the app until you feel the feedback.

img  weather press  - How To Use 3D Touch

6.The Weather app will bring up a widget when firmly pressed – in this case it will quickly tell you the current condition at your current location, as well as give you the option to find out the conditions at two of your preset locations. Cool!

img  weather shortcuts  - How To Use 3D Touch

Sliding left on the Home screen brings you to your Widget page. Anything that is displayed here will also be displayed upon hard-pressing the app that it correlates to.

For example, I have Reminders enabled as a widget, it shows me my upcoming reminders and allows me to mark them as complete:

img  reminder widget  - How To Use 3D Touch

However, if it’s easier, I can just hard press the app which will bring up its shortcuts.

img  reminder press  - How To Use 3D Touch

You can see that the same reminders are displayed here in the app shortcut as in the widget. You are able to mark them as completed as well as create a new reminder – all from the Home screen.

Often, widgets that are displayed in shortcuts aren’t actionable (like the Weather app) they are just information, which is good for glancing at. Reminders is a notable and useful exception.

Other 3D touch actions available to you on the Home page include:

Shortcuts to your favourite people on Messages:

img  messages  - How To Use 3D Touch

Easily renaming folders:

img  rename folder  - How To Use 3D Touch

Choosing a podcast to play:

img  podcast  - How To Use 3D Touch

Peek and Other Actions

Of course, there are many other ways you can use 3D touch. Within apps, one of the key functions is Peek. As the name would suggest, Peek gives you a quick glance at a page or function, without having to fully engage with it or leave the page you are already on.

There are a ton of apps that allow you to use this function, let’s check out how to use a few of them.

The first and most obvious app to use with 3D touch is Messages. Messages allows you to peek at a conversation, give quick stock responses, and then open up the message thread if need be.

1.Find a conversation you want to engage with. Tap it, then press firmly on it. This will open up the Peek. As you can see, it literally allows you a quick glance into the conversation.

img  message peek  - How To Use 3D Touch

2.Then, if you slide up on the Peek, it will give you contextual quick answer based on the context of your conversation. As you can see, it was trying to give me answers that made sense in my conversation.

img  quick answer  - How To Use 3D Touch

3.If you hard press twice in a row it will take you straight to the actual message thread.

img  double press  - How To Use 3D Touch

In the Maps app, you can hard press on any location and peek at it. Follow these steps:

1.Open up Maps and find a location that you want to navigate to or to find out more about.

img  maps  - How To Use 3D Touch

2.Hard press the location. This will bring up a variety of options including a way to quickly get directions there and a link to the location’s website, and other information as available.

img  location peek  - How To Use 3D Touch

Hopefully you have an understanding of how the Peek function works. Once you start using it, you’ll realize how effective and efficient it is. Being able to access so many functions without switch apps is amazing. Here are some other ways to use Peek:

• Peek and then slide up to accept a Calendar invitation from a contact.
• Peek and slide up on a photo to share it, send it to Facebook or delete it.
• Hard press any link in Safari to Peek the page it links to. Hard press it twice to then go to the link.
• Peek on a friend in Find My Friends to get directions to their location or to notify a friend about your location.
• Peek a story in News to preview it, share it, like, and more.
• Peek on any book in iBooks to get a quick look at its contents.

Interact With Notifications

In both the Notification Centre and your Lock screen, you can interact with notifications in a new way.

Hard pressing a notification allows you to quickly interact with it; send a message, clear it, etc.

Here’s how it works.

1.When you get a notification on the lock screen, tap and firmly press it. This will bring up a number of ways in which you can interact with it. Usually, these are the standard functions that you would also use in the app.

img  reminder lock screen - How To Use 3D Touch

2.Simply tap on the functions as normal to interact with the notification.

This also works with Messages. You can hard press a Messages notification while it’s sitting in the lock screen, and literally answer the message as normal without leaving the screen.

1.When you get a message, hard press it.

img  message press - How To Use 3D Touch

2.This will bring up the ability to text your contact back without leaving the lock screen.

img  answer  - How To Use 3D Touch

3.Simply type your message as normal and send it!

img  send message - How To Use 3D Touch

In the notification centre, you can do the same thing. Interact with notifications without leaving by hard pressing them. However, there is a new feature utilizing 3D touch that we absolutely love. You can now clear your entire notification centre in one move using 3D Touch.

1.Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the notification centre.

img  notification centre - How To Use 3D Touch

2.Hard press the ‘x’ button.

img  x button - How To Use 3D Touch

3.The option to Clear All Notifications will appear. Tap it to clear all of your old notifications.

img  clear all - How To Use 3D Touch

4.Ah. Isn’t that satisfying?

img  no notifications - How To Use 3D Touch

If you’ve got an iPhone 6S or newer you’ll soon find 3D touch becoming a very well-used part of your workflow on the iPhone. It’s wonderfully efficient, particularly with the ability to answer messages from the lock screen.

July 15, 2017

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