The Trouble with 3D Touch

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

Although Apple’s proud of the peek/pop interface that it unveiled with the iPhone 6s, I’m skeptical of its utility. Most of the time, when I accidentally initiate a “peek” of the content behind whatever I’m pressing on, it’s content I was already trying to see by tapping. Loading a “peek” doesn’t really take any more time than actually tapping on an item and loading the result, and returning back to the previous screen seems a lot less work than holding your finger on the glass while you peruse a “peek” to see if it’s worth opening the rest of the way.[…]

3D Touch is only on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, so app developers (including Apple) can’t count on it being there. As a result, apps are designed so that the most common tasks users want to perform are the easiest ones to perform. Tapping on content to view it, then tapping or swiping to get back where you were before, is the most common gesture on almost every app I use. We’ve perfected it!

Steve Jobs once said “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology“. 3D Touch feels like a feature that proves why this is true.

As the iPhone becomes more evolutionary than revolutionary, every new feature counts. It does seem as though Apple had this pressure-sensing technology but needed a reason to include it, rather than developing it for a specific purpose.

Jason’s suggestion for changing the behavior of 3D Touch make perfect sense. I own a 6s Plus and almost never remember that 3D Touch even exists, let alone use it.

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