Force Touch on Apple Watch: How It Works and Why Apple Removed It
With around 50% market share, Apple Watch remains the most popular smartwatch despite facing stiff competition from the likes of Samsung Galaxy Watch and Fitbit Versa. What puts Apple Watch ahead is its top-notch hardware coupled with the deep integration with the Apple ecosystem.
Ever since the Apple Watch forayed onto the scene way back in 2015, Force Touch had been an integral part of the smartwatch. It offered quick shortcuts to common actions like the option to clear notifications, create or change watch faces, and more. Unfortunately, Apple has removed this touch technology with the introduction of watchOS 7.
Here we will know all about the Force Touch on Apple Watch and why the company has killed this incredibly helpful touch technology. If you are curious to know more about it, read on to unravel the truth.
What is Force Touch?
Force Touch is a technology designed to enable trackpads and touchscreens to detect the difference between a light press and a hard press. It takes advantage of pressure sensors to add another method of input to Apple Watch and other supported iDevices like the iPhone.
How Does Force Touch Works?
Force Touch technology offers instant access to commonly used actions through light or hard press gestures. For instance, you can access force touch an app icon to access its related information like weather information, play a song, or even jump into the settings right from the home screen.
Image credit: How to Geek
Things You Can Do with Force Touch
As mentioned above, you can carry out several things using Force Touch. From composing a new message to getting a weekly activity summary to streaming music, it can do many things.
Why has Apple Removed Force Touch in watchOS 7?
Though Apple has not yet provided any official reason as to why it has killed Force Touch on Apple watch, the writing for the touch technology had been pretty much on the wall ever since the launch of the iPhone XR.
In a typical Apple fashion, the tech giant first rolled out the Force Touch alternative called “Haptic Touch” on the 2018 budget iPhone (XR). And once Apple found that the new technology is good enough, it introduced the Haptic Touch across the iPhone 11 Series by keeping the 3D Touch away. So, the removal of Force Touch from Apple Watch is a well-thought-out decision.
As to why Apple has removed the Force Touch technology from the Apple Watch Series 6 or watchOS 7, there are a couple of main reasons for it. The first and foremost, Immersion Corporation filed a patent infringement against Apple and asked for compensation. In 2018, both the companies reached a settlement that required Apple to pay a licensing fee for the technology. It is worth noting that Apple started to cut down the use of 3D Touch (that is quite similar to Force Touch) in the same year by introducing an alternative called Haptic touch on iPhone XR.
It is crystal clear that Apple does not want to pay the licensing fee, and therefore, it stopped using the 3D Touch/Force Touch technology first on the iPhone and then on the Apple Watch.
By making the hidden features part of the user-interface of the watchOS 7, Apple has not only offered a better alternative but also eliminated the need to embed the Force Touch technology.
Considering that watchOS 7 has received huge praise for being faster, more intuitive, and user-friendly than the previous iterations of watchOS, the move to get rid of the touch technology could be considered a wise one.
Having tried our hands on the latest iteration of the watchOS, we also think that haptic touch is a better solution. It works pretty well in offering quick access to common features in your smartwatch. What do you think of this particular decision? Feel free to send your feedback across in the comments section below.