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Details of Force Touch capabilities on iPhone 6s reported

Rumors of Force Touch technology coming to the next generation iPhone (likely the iPhone 6s, arriving in the fall) have been abound ever since the technology first appeared on the 2015 line of MacBooks. It ramped up further upon the release of the Apple Watch, which also included Force Touch.

Whereas on the Watch the technology existed primarily to give further functionality to compensate for lesser screen real-estate. However, on the current 4.7 and 5.5-in line of iPhones, this isn’t as much of a problem – so what could Force Touch be used for? A report by 9to5Mac which cites sources that have had first hand experience with the tech on the next iPhone, suggest that it will be used primarily to allow users to shortcut familiar actions.

The article gives a few example via the source:

  • In Maps, a user can look up a point of interest and then use Force Touch to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions. “Currently, if a user wants to start navigating to a destination, she must search for the point of interest, click the navigation logo on the map view, then click another button to actually start navigating.”
  • In Music, a user can Force Touch on a track to get more options. “For instance, if a user deep presses on the listing for a song, a menu will appear to quickly add the song to a playlist or save it for offline listening.”

Users may also be able to Force Touch on an app icon to quickly access options within the app, while further gestures imitate those on the MacBook, such as using Force Touch on a link in Safari to see a preview of the page.

The force sensors and Taptic Engine on a MacBook

The force sensors and Taptic Engine on a MacBook

Force Touch arrived on the most recent line of MacBooks, it uses force sensors alongside a Taptic Engine, which can measure the force with which a user presses down. It can register a regular click, but if the user then pushes harder, it registers another click, which can provide another level of options.

The technology works similarly on the Watch, and on the iPhone it won’t be entirely dissimilar to a ‘long press’, which often brings up more options. Force Touch will be yet another level of functionality that will provide even more options.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is predicted to be announced at a rumored Sept. 9 media event hosted by Apple.

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