Apple is one of those companies that, while they announce new things for their hardware every year, some new features are always pointed out just a bit more than others. Some just get the lime light a bit longer, or hear more zealous presenters doling out information regarding the new feature. We’ve seen it with Siri, the dual camera setup in the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Pay, and many others. And, usually, those features get plenty of support, both from Apple and third-party companies, in the years following.
3D Touch was one of those features, which, at the time, Apple wanted to make clear that it was one of the many “next big things” for the iOS platform. The best new way to interact with your phone. Apple changed things up with multitouch way back when, and it saw 3D Touch as, just maybe, another big step for using software.
To its credit, it wasn’t long before Google started implementing a similar feature in its own software. Long pressing on an app’s icon will pop up more options, but the Android feature is not nearly as detailed, or rich, as Apple’s implementation. At least, not yet anyway.
It just feels like that’s a matter of time, though.
Meanwhile, 3D Touch hasn’t seen a lot of attention lately. It still exists, though! And some apps certainly make use of it. Pressing a bit harder on the display on some app icons will pop up scores for your favorite team, and a lot of messaging apps give you a quick way to jump right into a conversation without having to open the app directly.
Apple’s 3D Touch was one of those features that I didn’t really find any use for until third-party developers started taking advantage of it, and until I saw how great it is in Live Photos. Of course, 3D Touch isn’t completely essential for Live Photos to com alive, which certainly diminishes the feature a bit, but I’ve honestly tried to start using it more often and I like it quite a bit.
I just don’t see how Apple can expect 3D Touch to really take off if it’s not present on the biggest displays that offer interactivity with iOS: iPads. I was sure that, once Apple upgraded the original 12.9- and 9.7- iPad Pro models, they’d introduce 3D Touch into the devices. But, with the new 12.9-inch and 10.7-inch iPad Pro models out in the market, we know 3D Touch isn’t a bullet point feature.
So that means all that great interactivity with apps that I get on the iPhone, which includes quickly jumping into music playlists both with Apple Music and Spotify, I just can’t do on the iPad. And as I mentioned above, I’ve been trying to use 3D Touch more on my iPhone, and I’ve enjoyed doing so, but switching to the iPad now feels like I’m losing a specific piece of functionality — and it’s from the same company.
Maybe if Apple hadn’t touted 3D Touch as being so important, this next major step in using our touchscreen devices, I could kind of understand the lack of iPad support. Plus, 3D Touch is present on the Apple Watch and MacBook/MacBook Pro models, but it’s called Force Touch in those instances. This technology is indeed important to Apple.
Maybe it’s just one more thing that will get phased out in iOS before too long.
Of course, I have to note that while Apple hasn’t come right out and said why 3D Touch, in any capacity or namesake, isn’t available on the iPad, there are some technological breakdowns out there that indicate why. A technology barrier, while frustrating, would certainly make sense. And maybe it’s impossible (for now). Still, the more I use it on my iPhone the more I want it on the iPad Pro.
If you’re an iOS user, is 3D Touch something you use on a regular basis? And would you like to see it become available on the iPad Pro lineup? Why do you think Apple hasn’t rolled out support for the feature yet? Let me know!