iPhone 6S, iPad Pro technology
Introducing 3D Touch in iPhone 6S, iPad Pro
The new iPhone 6S is quickly full of praise for Apple’s main feature: 3D Touch, formerly known as Force Touch. A technology where the display detects how hard the user presses it and based on this interprets different commands.
Only the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have the pressure-sensitive ‘‘3D Touch” technology. An extra layer of pressures sensors registers tiny changes in the distance of the glass cover from the sensor layer. In the iPad Pro, however, the pressure recognition feature is contained in the optional stylus. Using the Pencil doubles the scanning rate of the display from a mere 120 times per second to 240.
Apple has installed only two pressure levels in iOS 9 as it doesn’t need any more. With “peek”, a light press, the user can take a look at apps or web links and preview an e-mail, the large image of a thumbnail in the gallery or the website behind a link. Photos on Instagram can be liked, the “peek” on the Facebook app icon allows users to post their status or upload photos. Pressing a bit more deeply is a “pop” – it opens what the user has previously seen as a
preview: the photo, e-mail or Facebook feed.
It is not without reason that the technology is going to be available only in Asia for now. It looks as though Force Touch still needs to mature at the competition’s end, whereas Apple already has a finished product. Chief designer Jony Ive recently stated in an interview, that Apple worked on 3D Touch for “many, many, many years”. This also includes a tiny detail, the Taptic Engine, a kind of vibration motor inside, which reacts to the display pressure by
creating corresponding vibrations in the device – as though it were yielding slightly to the pressure.
In the future, the pressure control may become the new standard in the smartphone industry. The possibilities are endless, the operating concept is too simple, the influence of Apple is too powerful for other manufacturers to brush aside.
How 3D Touch works on the iPhone
A light press, the ‘‘peek”, opens, for instance, the preview of an e-mail and a context menu. It’s like the right-click of the iPhone. A deeper press, the ‘‘pop”, will then start the app.
Apart from the iPhone 6S, the normal version, Apple is launching a large version too, i.e. the iPhone 6S Plus. They both had to prove themselves in the CHIP test lab: Apple once again proved to be a huge success. The display is one of the best ones available in the market. The contrast and brightness ensure excellent readability even in the bright daylight. However, this was true for its predecessor as well. In contrast, the battery yielded negative results: the battery life in these has in part worsened considerably in comparison to its precursor, especially when making calls. This is partly because of the battery capacity in the 6S – the additional display later for the pressure recognition takes up space. But even with the battery life optimisations of iOS 9, the poor quality is surprising. So, we will repeat
the test using new test equipment.