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iPhone 6S Force Touch: The future of phones or just another gimmick?

iPhone 6S Force Touch: The future of phones or just another gimmick?

Apple’s plans to bring its Force Touch tech to the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been a mainstay of the rumour mill all year. So much so that it's inclusion seems nailed on.

What makes the version being used in the iPhone 6S more interesting than the existing tech in the Apple Watch and MacBook is its apparent ability to offer a so–called ‘third dimension’.

Sources close to Apple have claimed that the company will brand the tech as '3D Touch Display' rather than Force Touch.

force touch apple

This means that as well as recognising the difference between a tap and a press, the iPhone 6S will have a special 'deep-press' function.

How this will work in practice will be revealed at Apple’s event on September 9th, but previous rumours have suggested Force Touch, and by extension its 3D stablemate, will be able to cut out taps to make using apps easier.

The most obvious example is within Maps. Rather than tapping on a destination, then selecting your intended destination then confirming your choice, a deeper press will let you navigate directly to wherever you're headed.

Likewise, it is thought that a long press on an app icon will access specific functionality, be it a new message within iMessage or voicemail via the Phone app.

It all sounds pretty neat. And on the one hand, it’s something that clearly sets Apple’s iPhones apart from the crowd.

ios 9 apple maps transit

However, there is a distinct whiff of this being a gimmick, a way of differentiating from older devices in order to boost sales.

Anyone who has already used Force Touch, especially on the Apple Watch, will know that it can be infuriating and takes some time to get used to.

Often taps will be mistaken for presses, serving up menu trees and features users don’t want at that time.

That is partly down to the Apple Watch’s small size. And perhaps it's a bit more forgivable for that reason.

But Apple cannot afford to have such issues with its bestselling product.

iphone 6s force touch mock up

Of course, if it proves a success, you can bet other tech companies won’t be far behind with their take.

But the fact remains that the current touchscreen input method works really well and doesn’t exactly need tinkering with.

The fact it is being played around with surely only comes from the fact that we have reached smartphone saturation and new ideas are harder and harder to come up with.

Until we’ve taken an iPhone 6S for a test drive, we’ll reserve judgement.

But it’s hard not to think that, like ‘smart tickers’ and curved screens, 3D Touch Display is little more than a gimmick.

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