Apple announced its next generation of iPhones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. From the outside at least, the new phones look identical to their predecessors, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with the form factor and screen sizes (4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively) remaining the same. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are powered by Apple’s new 64-bit A9 processor, which is said to be significantly faster than the A8 chip in the iPhone 6. Apple says the new chip can render graphics up to 90 percent faster than earlier chips. The increased processing power, Apple said, will be most readily apparent in gameplay and video playback.
The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offer a new input feature called Force Touch and haptic feedback. That feature has now been branded 3D Touch for the phones. It’s is a touchscreen technology that can detect various types of user touches. A “3D Touch” is a long finger press on the screen that conveys a different message to the operating system than a light tap or a normal touch. The screen then responds with haptic feedback — a tap — that gives you the illusion you’ve pressed down on a physical button.
To detect the various types of touches, sensors on the back of the screen measure the distance between the screen surface and the back light. A hard sustained touch would, for example, create a shorter distance from the two as the finger depresses the screen.
In general, 3D Touch can be used to “peek in” on an app to get to a deeper level of information without actually launching the app.
The new feature is deeply integrated in the OS. For example, a user could press and hold on an email message to open the message and drill down to the details. In another example, a user can 3D touch on a flight number in a text messages to drill down to flight details. In maps, the 3D can be used to drop a pin in a location in a map. In a game, 3D touch can be used to zoom in and out on a gaming scene.