Apple quietly killed off 3D Touch with the new iPhones and replaced it with a haptic system

Apple has quietly replaced the pressure sensitive command feature, 3D Touch, in its next round of iPhones.

In a major event this week, Apple announced its next generation of smartphone, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. 

While the phones added several new bells and whistles, one feature was conspicuously absent from the new device: 3D Touch, a display technology that allowed users to initiate different commands depending on the amount of pressure they use to ‘click’ objects on their phone.

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Apple's 3D touch has been phased out with a current crop of iPhones that favors a haptic system without pressure sensitive commands.

Apple’s 3D touch has been phased out with a current crop of iPhones that favors a haptic system without pressure sensitive commands.


Apple’s new iPhone 11 boasts several improvements over its predecessor, including:

– A new chip. The A13 Bionic is faster and more efficient, allowing for an hour more battery life over the iPhone XR.

– A new Ultra Wide camera. A new camera will allow users to capture wider images and enable ‘Night Mode’ for low-light photography.

– Slow-motion video. Front-facing camera is now capable of capturing 4K video at 60 frames per second

Instead of 3D Touch, the company has opted to go with the newer Haptic Touch feature first unveiled in 2018 for all of its new devices, spelling out an unofficial end to the technology.

Though substantially similar, MacRumors notes that the Haptic Touch has some key differences compared to its predecessor.

Namely, Haptic Touch is not pressure sensitive like the former 3D technology and is activated by a long screen press instead of a firm one. 

This correlates to slightly less nuance for users since unlike 3D Touch, the new haptic system will no longer be able to take advantage of multiple levels of functionality.

Previously, ‘peek’ and ‘pop’ gestures allowed users to initiate different pressure-dependent commands not possible through the haptic system. 

It’s unclear exactly how Apple’s newest iOS 13 will utilize the now-standard Haptic Touch system, but according to Apple, the technology is being positioned as means to ‘do things faster, like take selfies without launching the Camera app.’

Already, Apple has introduced a few new applications for Haptic Touch in its fairly recent iOS 12.1.1, including the ability to interact with notifications on an iPhone lock screen. 

Users can use the feature to bypass having to unlock their phone for certain things like playing a podcast or viewing a notification on social media.


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