Over the years, we have seen new features that have popped up with new phones which got us excited only to later find out that the new features are nothing but a gimmick. A few examples are the 3D recording capable dual cameras on the back of phones, glass less 3D displays, camera and sensor supported 3D displays, eye ball tracking, and to some extent NFC chips. They have acted as nothing more than a gimmick to sell more phones and they have been successful doing that but only after buying a piece of technology, you realize how useless the features which could be because most of the features are not used by majority of the public on a day to day basis and are just an added feature or specification on paper that you can boast about.
The 3D touch display has been implemented by Apple in the Iphone 6s and the 6s Plus and other companies like Xiaomi are also implementing the same in their upcoming phones starting with the Mi Note 2. Just because Apple has launche da particular thing and Apple fans would without a doubt go crazy about it and other manufacturers would also use similar technology so lets find out if the 3D touch display is actually useful by looking at what it can do or is it just a gimmick.
Home Screen Actions:
With the help of 3D touch, there are a few home screen actions that lets you access options like taking a Selfie or getting directions to your home or office without launching the native apps of camera or maps. Also you have access to other options like contacts you have been recently in touch with so that you can continue a conversation that you left or to quickly get in touch with the contacts you frequently are in touch with.
The 3D touch does not stop just at these features, you can customize this to work with other applications that are not pre-configured, you just have to launch the app once to sync itself with the 3D touch and then the same can quickly access those app using this technology. You can also interact with apps using 3D touch by going to the App Icon and long pressing on it which will bring up a few options and then you can chose what feature of that application to use with the 3D touch. There are various apps that have home screen actions pre configured on the iphone like Message, calendar, photos, camera, clock, maps, videos, wallet, notes, reminders, mail, itunes, safari, music, news, facetime, contacts, etc.
Quick actions using 3D touch tehnology also work inside some apps for now and it should only increase over time – you can press contacts in messages to get a quick action option for calling, texting, facetiming with your contact,e tc. Below are a few quick actions that you can use that act as a great help to quickly navigate to a certain point or directly act upon something without having to open each application all the time.
- Messages – You can see the preview of a message and directly swipe up to respond to a message. Additionally you can press on a contact to see additional ways to contact them via phone or video call.
- Calender – Preview appointments and swipe up or down to accept or decline an invite that you have received.
- Photos: Preview photos and swipe to share, favorite, copy, or delete them.
- Maps: Press on a location to find out directions to that area or even share your location with just one press.
- Notes: View your notes without opening the app and swipe to share or delete.
- Reminders: Action on individual reminders without opening each one of them.
- Books: Preview a book that you have saved on your device and swipe to share, delete or show the complete book.
- News: Preview any story and share it.
- Explorer: Apps like safari and chorme can show a preview of the opened links and you can swipe to open it or copy the link to share it on social media.
- Music: Play or pause music using the entire apps functionality without opening the app.
- Facetime: Find additional ways to connect with a contact.
- Contacts: Find additional ways to connect with a contact. All the social media profiles are connected here and you can use any of the options to message them elsewhere or call them directly.
- Find My Friends: You can set reminders to notify when your contact is near you or also set a reminder to notify you when your contacts location changes.
These are only a few of the things that you can do with these apps. Over time more apps and functionality will be added to this.
Peek and Pop Feature:
This feature lets you preview a few things like messages and web links and then jump into them or dismiss them if necessary. This also enables you to act on applications without having to launch the complete app – this works like whatsapp’s quick respond features which allows you to respond to a message without opening the app. It is a great feature and also saves on the battery juice since the full app is not opened because of which the process is not fully completed and instead only a part of the app is running.
For example, if you receive a notification, you can press on the item or message that you have received, after which the entire screen will blur out and the item or message will be highlighted with a preview of it if you long press on it. From there, you can dismiss the message or see it completely or reply to it directly from there using the ‘go deeper’ option.
Animate Live Photos:
Live photos in itself are a gimmick because you cannot do much with them and only view them on the phone as they only capture 1.5 second worth of video and when you touch the photo, it animated with a video and sound. As useless as the live photos might sound, you can make them animate with the 3D touch.
Overall, the 3D touch does not sound like a gimmick as it does solve a lot of problems and makes things easier for the users. It is great that you can interact with so many applications on the phone without having to open them completely. Expect to see it on more devices as this technology will only make things better in the future.
For the current phones that have it, I have provided a link from where you can purchase them phones if you want:
Iphone 6s Plus:
64 GB – Silver
Will update the links to the below devices once they are officially launched and available:
Xiaomi Mi Note 2