Here's How iPhone 6S Force Touch Will Probably Work

By Gerald Lynch on at

Force Touch, first seen in Apple's Watch and latest MacBooks, is looking like a dead-cert for inclusion in the iPhone 6S and the super-sized iPhone 6S Plus. But what's it for? On the Watch, Force Touch allows for Apple to expand the number of visible controls on the smaller screen, and on the Mac it can be programmed to trigger all manner of shortcuts. But what will it do on an iPhone?

Sources testing the system and speaking to 9to5Mac claim to have the answer. Internally known as "Orb", new Force Touch commands will mostly be used as shortcuts, bypassing menu lists and jumping to specific portions of apps.

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For instance, an example given suggests instantly triggering turn-by-turn navigation on Maps by "deep pressing" on a location, rather than tapping through location options. Similarly, in Apple Music a deep press would allow you to add a song to a playlist or save it for offline playback. Each would reduce the number of steps needed to pull off a function. Other uses include deep pressing words to see dictionary definitions, while it's suggested that Home screen app icons can be given user-assigned deep press functions (jumping, for instance, straight to voicemail from the dialler icon).

These new options will be shown in a number of ways, either hovering in an interface near your fingertip for a quick swipe, or in a list at the bottom of the display. The plan is that, whatever device you've grown accustomed to using Force Touch on, the system should be comparable and "nice" across each.

While you'd expect most core Apple applications to come with updated Force Touch support, 9to5Mac also reports that Apple may open up the API to third party developers ahead of launch, giving users a suite of Force Touch-enabled apps (which would hopefully justify an upgrade to what will otherwise be a mostly-iterative hardware update). [9to5Mac]