My take on 3D Touch

As the release of new iPhones is approaching, it is time to speculate on new features, or the removal of the old ones. There are rumors that one of the new iPhones will lack 3D Touch capability. To me, this is disturbing as I think that the biggest hindrance in 3D Touch adoption is that it is not omnipresent. Contrary to the opinion that it is broken, I believe that discoverability is a minor issue.

On a desktop interface there are no indicators to show that a particular element can be right-clicked. This is so because:

  1. There are few actions that are only doable by right clicking, mainly thanks to of toolbars and menu bars.
  2. Users intuitively know which elements can be right-clicked.

First point can be resolved by software: I leave it to designers to design a replacement for menus or toolbars that enable advanced functionality which can be then used with 3D Touch. The second point can be solved with users being exposed to 3D Touch all the time. With the current lineup this is a non-starter as it is available on high end phones only—not on the SE, and not on the iPad.

Now is the time for Apple to show if they are invested in 3D Touch or whether it is just a nice-to-have feature.