iPhone 6s fea­tures re­vealed!

How the new Force Touch will rev­o­lu­tionise your apps

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE -

Force Touch sup­port in iOS will be seen as a huge step for­ward for mo­bile de­vice user in­ter­faces, even­tu­ally be­com­ing as in­tu­itive as Multi-Touch ges­tures

Force Touch on iPhone will be “the most sig­nif­i­cant change” to the iPhone user in­ter­face yet, ac­cord­ing to KGI an­a­lyst, Ming-Chi Kou. Orig­i­nally in­tro­duced with the Ap­ple Watch and later on the 12-inch MacBook, Force Touch will trans­form the way we use iPhones, iPads and Macs, mak­ing it much eas­ier to use apps across all of Ap­ple’s plat­forms.

Ap­ple’s pres­sure-sen­si­tive Force Touch tech­nol­ogy en­ables users to trig­ger a range of con­trols through vary­ing lev­els of pres­sure and a sin­gle touch. On an Ap­ple Watch, you use the fea­ture to change watch faces or sum­mon con­tex­tual menus, such as the op­tion to flag or delete a mes­sage in the Mail app. Es­sen­tially it en­ables users to get much more from their app with a sin­gle touch. On MacBooks, Force Touch lets you ac­cess con­tex­tual menu items that

pre­vi­ously re­quired a ≈- click or right-click, and the Force Touch track­pad of­fers hap­tic feed­back in re­sponse to on-screen events.

An added layer

So how might this trans­late into ad­di­tional func­tion­al­ity with iPhones and iPads?

In part it will en­able Ap­ple and third-party de­vel­op­ers to build sim­i­lar user in­ter­faces across all the plat­forms, mak­ing it much eas­ier for users to gain in­tu­itive fa­mil­iar­ity with ap­pli­ca­tions across mo­bile de­vices and Macs. The tech also turns the en­tire iPhone dis­play into a pres­sure-sen­si­tive but­ton, en­abling true hand­writ­ing recog­ni­tion, graph­ics in­put and edit­ing fea­tures based on touch. In con­junc­tion with faster 64-bit A9 pro­ces­sors, there’s po­ten­tial to un­lock in­creased so­phis­ti­ca­tion in app design across all Ap­ple’s plat­forms. Eran Kins­bruner, Mo­bile Tech­ni­cal Evan­ge­list at Per­fecto Mo­bile ex­plains: “By adding a new level of pre­ci­sion for in­put into the de­vice, Ap­ple can be ex­pected to of­fer a more fluid and in­tu­itive user in­ter­face for many apps, and it would not be un­ex­pected to see the com­pany con­tinue their ex­plo­ration into the gaming in­dus­try.”

There are clear im­pli­ca­tions in gaming, graph­ics and across app design. For ex­am­ple, third-party de­vel­op­ers will be able to design apps that work dif­fer­ently when touched with dif­fer­ent lev­els of force: in a graph­ics app, a soft touch may draw an im­age, a harder touch may en­able colour or con­trast ed­its, while a hard touch might act as an eraser. With no­ti­fi­ca­tions about mes­sages, you might press to launch an app, tap to view the whole mes­sage, or Force Click to re­spond or delete the mes­sage.

“Force Touch on the iPhone will be used to clear up some con­trol space across the sys­tem, and po­ten­tially re­place some long press-and-hold but­ton in­ter­ac­tions”, 9to5Mac re­ported in May.

En­thu­si­asm at the po­ten­tial of Force Touch must be tem­pered with a sense of re­al­ism. We don’t yet know how Ap­ple will make the fea­ture avail­able to de­vel­op­ers, though we un­der­stand the com­pany is work­ing to in­tro­duce Force Touch sup­port within some flag­ship iOS apps. “If de­vel­op­ers on iOS are able to get in­for­ma­tion about how hard a per­son is press­ing on the screen, in ad­di­tion to the in­for­ma­tion we can al­ready get about the num­ber and lo­ca­tion of fin­ger touches, it opens all man­ner of new pos­si­bil­i­ties", Ag­ile Tor­toise de­vel­oper, Greg Pierce told For­tune. So will Force Touch ut­terly trans­form your Ap­ple user ex­pe­ri­ence from day one? That’s un­likely. Ap­ple is known to de­liver new tech­nolo­gies (like Multi-Touch) and de­velop them in­cre­men­tally, ex­tend­ing their util­ity only when it makes sense. “If Force Touch isn’t very dis­cov­er­able, if peo­ple don’t think to do it au­to­mat­i­cally, then it’s some­thing we won’t rely heav­ily on”, said Litely de­vel­oper, Cole Rise. Ap­ple’s task as it in­no­vates the new user in­ter­face is to en­sure it makes that in­ter­face ut­terly log­i­cal and in­tu­itive to use.

Ap­ple’s task as it in­no­vates the new user in­ter­face is to en­sure it makes that in­ter­face ut­terly log­i­cal and

in­tu­itive to use

On the Watch, hid­ing op­tions be­hind a deep press on the screen keeps the in­ter­face clean. It could also make the iPhone’s in­ter­face less clut­tered.

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