Opinion: Will limited device & app support lead 3D Touch to wither and die?

I’m going to be a little less polite than him. Just think about that from a UI perspective: an app may or may not support a headline feature of the phone, and the only way I can tell is by randomly stabbing at apps with my finger like a deranged monkey. That is utterly appalling UI design, and there’s no excuse for it from anyone — far less from Apple, which prides itself on usability above all else.

I would argue it’s also poor UI to have an operating system feature that may or may not be available depending on the device you’re using at the time. Sure, I understand that older devices may not be able to support all of the latest features, and that there are some features only practical on a larger screen. But someone switching between the flagship iPhone and the very latest iPad should not be seeing a feature on their phone that they can’t use on their iPad.

I’m quoting Ben Lovejoy for the second time today. I find 3D Touch to be pretty much useless. At best, it saves a tap; at worst, as Ben says, you don’t even know when you can use it. As I wrote in Macworld last year:

The biggest problem with 3D Touch is knowing when it is available. If you press links in certain apps, they’ll show you peeks; for example, a link in an email message in Apple’s Mail shows you a preview of a webpage from Safari. But pressing and holding a link in Twitteriffic, my Twitter client, brings up a share menu, without using 3D Touch

[…]

The same is the case with 3D Touch on the home screen. There is no indication that any app offers quick actions.

When I said on Twitter that I was ordering the iPhone SE, someone asked if I would miss 3D Touch. I won’t miss it at all.

Source: Opinion: Will limited device & app support lead 3D Touch to wither and die? | 9to5Mac

8 thoughts on “Opinion: Will limited device & app support lead 3D Touch to wither and die?

  1. Well said. I added support for 3D touch into my app because doing so was trivial. Months later, I completely forgot how to even get to ‘peek quick actions’. That’s how little I use the 3D touch as a user.

    The only time I use force-touch is when I’m tapping on links and they don’t respond (probably due to a conflict with 3D touch). Another problem is the conflict with long presses. If you’re trying to delete an app, often you press too hard on the app icon and the 3d touch features are invoked rather than the jiggly app icons.

    That all being said, I do sometimes hear from people that like 3D Touch. It’s probably here to stay, and devices will be evolved to use it as the screen pricing comes down. It will probably emulate the way the Retina displays were gradually brought in. As the App Store churns, all new apps will support it, and your issue of not knowing which apps support 3D touch will resolve itself.

    • Yes, the delete app thing is annoying. I have to struggle to press just right to be able to get the jiggly icons.

  2. Well said. I added support for 3D touch into my app because doing so was trivial. Months later, I completely forgot how to even get to ‘peek quick actions’. That’s how little I use the 3D touch as a user.

    The only time I use force-touch is when I’m tapping on links and they don’t respond (probably due to a conflict with 3D touch). Another problem is the conflict with long presses. If you’re trying to delete an app, often you press too hard on the app icon and the 3d touch features are invoked rather than the jiggly app icons.

    That all being said, I do sometimes hear from people that like 3D Touch. It’s probably here to stay, and devices will be evolved to use it as the screen pricing comes down. It will probably emulate the way the Retina displays were gradually brought in. As the App Store churns, all new apps will support it, and your issue of not knowing which apps support 3D touch will resolve itself.

    • Yes, the delete app thing is annoying. I have to struggle to press just right to be able to get the jiggly icons.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.