Now, a year after its initial release, 3D Touch has made its way in numerous 3rd party apps and it also has a more prominent place in iOS 10, unlocking various options throughout the phone’s interface. However, we feel like a lot of 3D Touch’s functions are underexposed and probably unknown to the wide userbase.
So, we thought we’d list a few of the less obvious things you can do with 3D touch. This is for iOS’ interface only, as 3rd party apps are, well… a lot. And each one of them may or may not treat the pressure-sensitive feature in their own unique way.
Cool 3D Touch functions on the iPhone
1. Download options
When you are downloading a few different apps, did you know that you can set download priorities? Just hard press on your target app and a menu will pop up. You can then choose to prioritize the download, pause downloading, or cancel it. To be fair, the last two options were available in pre-3D Touch times by just tapping or tapping and holding on the app while it was downloading.
2. Folders with notifications
If you have a folder with chat and / or email apps inside and one or a few of those apps have pending notifications, your entire folder will have a red notification badge on top of it. To only view the apps that have pending messages, force touch the folder without opening it. A menu will show up, displaying the apps that have a pending notification.
3. Avatars in iMessage, Favorites, Recent Calls
In the iMessage messenger, Favorites menu, or Recent calls menu, force press the avatar / name of your contact to get a menu with different communication options. This can contain phone numbers, emails, chat apps — it all depends on whether you have those entered in your contact’s details.
4. Clear all notifications
You can clear groups of notifications by tapping on the “x” at the top-right of each group. But did you know that if you press on the x, you will get a Clear All option?
5. App switcher
Double-pressing the home button will reveal the App Switcher menu — the iPhone’s equivalent of alt+tab on PC. But you can also call out the App Switcher by force pressing on the very leftmost part of the screen. If you just push the display and swipe slightly inwards, you will open the App Switcher. If you press and swipe most of the way to the right, you will instantly switch to your previously used app.
6. Touchpad keyboard
On the iPads, you can call up a mouse-like text cursor by tapping on the keyboard with 2 fingers and dragging around like you would on a mouse pad. On the iPhones, you can do the same — force press over the keyboard and you will get the cursor. You can use it to highlight and copy pieces of text faster and more accurately. It does require a bit of getting used to, but it’s pretty nifty!
7. Control Center actions
You can also use 3D Touch on the quick tool icons down in the Control Center. Pressing on the flashlight lets you choose light intensity — from low to bright. Pressing on the timer will let you set up a quick… well, timer. Pressing on the calculator icon will copy your last result to the clipboard, which is pretty nifty. Pressing on the camera lets you choose to go straight to selfie, video, or slow motion modes.