A New Means of Interaction on iPhone 11: Haptic Touch vs 3D Touch
iPhone 11 has been garnering rave reviews across the board for its new features and one of the highlights of this series is the Haptic Touch. This is an update on the 3D Touch feature that we have become so used to over the years.
Here is a low down on the feature that has emerged as one of the star attractions of the iPhone series.
What is Haptic Touch?
Haptic Touch is a touch and hold gesture that all iPhone 11 devices are designed to respond to. Once you long press on the screen, you will feel a light vibration under your finger that is followed by the emergence of a secondary menu. The contents of the menu depend on the area of the display you touch.
This feature adapts to whichever app you tap on. Depending on whether the particular application is compatible with Haptic Touch, it will show a shortcut menu and widgets or simply provide an option to share the app or rearrange how the apps appear on your screen.
Similarly, Haptic Touch also works when you long press on phone numbers, addresses, links and such where it will reveal additional menu options. Which menu options you get will depend on where you initiate Haptic Touch as doing the same on an app icon is vastly different than doing the same on say, a phone number.
How does Haptic Touch differ from 3D Touch?
The 3D Touch feature responds to multiple pressure levels, something that Apple described as the ‘Peek and Pop’ gesture. So, a light press will perform one action while a harder press on the same will lead to something else.
For instance, a soft press on a link will give you a preview of the web page, which in Apple-speak is a Peek. A harder press on the same will launch the Safari app with the web page loaded in the browser. The latter is described as a Pop gesture, where the link actually ‘pops open’so you can have a detailed look.
In contrast, Haptic Touch is a single touch feature wherein you tap and hold with the same level of pressure. However, the duration you hold it for differs when you want to see the secondary menu.
Tapping on any of the menu options will lead to further action depending on the menu you select. In that respect, Haptic Touch is slightly more time consuming as compared to 3D Touch. But you can address this concern by changing the reaction time for Haptic Touch in Settings, with Fast being the default option.
Also, with 3D Touch having been replaced with Haptic Touch only with the latest generation of the iPhone devices, there are some adjustments to be made for long-time iPhone users as there are some differences in the way both behave. For instance, tapping anywhere on a keyboard on a device with 3D Touch will transform it into a cursor. With Haptic Touch, this only works when you long-press the space bar.
Compatibility with Haptic Touch
Apple first introduced Haptic Touch with iPhone XR in 2018. Interestingly, the 2018 iPhone line-up including the iPhone XS and XS Max continued with 3D Touch. However, there is uniformity introduced with the latest generation of the iPhone models, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, all three being Haptic Touch compliant.
Haptic Touch is now standard across both the latest series of iPad and iPhone devices. With the way things stand with iOS 13, we might have already seen the last of 3D Touch already. That is, until Apple has something else to offer as a replacement for Haptic Touch in the future.
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