iPhone 6s features revealed!
How the new Force Touch will revolutionise your apps
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.