Lesser-Known 3D Touch Features: Peek and Pop Safari Tabs, Keyboard Trackpad, and More

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Apr 12, 2001
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The launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus brought a new range of gestures to the iPhone, introducing 3D Touch. 3D Touch adds a pressure dimension to the traditional multi-touch controls on iOS devices to enable Peek and Pop, Quick Actions, pressure-sensitive drawing, and more.

Because 3D Touch is an entirely new feature, it can be difficult to adjust to all of the available gestures and to find the hidden things that can be done with it. In the video below, we've rounded up some of the neatest 3D Touch abilities including a Peek gesture to view all Safari tabs, useful third-party Quick Actions, and cursor control.


3D Touch is limited to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus at the current time, but there have been rumors suggesting Apple is planning to expand it to additional devices in the future. Scaling it up to work with a larger screen has reportedly introduced some problems that Apple will need to work through before introducing 3D Touch on future iPads, but we can expect to see it in the upcoming iPhone 7.

In a MacRumors Twitter poll conducted in December, 40 percent of 8,100 entrants said they don't use 3D Touch, while another 25 percent said they use the feature only occasionally. As a new feature, it takes some time for longtime iPhone owners to get used to incorporating new gestures into their daily usage routines.

Do you use 3D Touch? - MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) December 16, 2015

If you have additional favorite apps with useful Quick Actions or other notable use cases for 3D Touch, make sure to comment. For more information on using 3D Touch, make sure to check out our how to.

Article Link: Lesser-Known 3D Touch Features: Peek and Pop Safari Tabs, Keyboard Trackpad, and More
 
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Corrode

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2008
986
2,097
Calgary, AB
3D Touch on the Trackpad is so annoying. It works the first time you try it, but when you lift your finger, the cursor often moves. When you go to deep press again to activate the cursor, it doesn't work, so then you just have to long press on the text to fix the cursor placement, negating the benefits of 3D Touch.

Apple- please fix this! It's clearly software that's moving the cursor as I lift my finger (something that doesn't happen while traditionally long-pressing), and preventing me from re-activating the 3D Touch cursor a second time.
 

AlliFlowers

Contributor
Jan 1, 2011
4,433
8,418
L.A. (Lower Alabama)
Very informative and nicely done. I mostly use 3D Touch with the camera app. I always forget to use it on the keyboard, but will definitely make an effort in the future!
 

RosOne

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
124
291
3D Touch on the Trackpad is so annoying. It works the first time you try it, but when you lift your finger, the cursor often moves. When you go to deep press again to activate the cursor, it doesn't work, so then you just have to long press on the text to fix the cursor placement, negating the benefits of 3D Touch.

Apple- please fix this! It's clearly software that's moving the cursor as I lift my finger (something that doesn't happen while traditionally long-pressing), and preventing me from re-activating the 3D Touch cursor a second time.
I'm using Notes all the time, I'm making lists of clients. I need to edit those lists a lot, 3D touching the keyboard is very unreliable for me. It works the first time I do it, but then I want to move the cursor and it doesn't change to trackpad mode, it starts typing the letter I had my finger on. No matter the force I apply.

It makes selecting text worse, not better.
 

laszlo182

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2013
133
65
Bratislava, Slovakia
You should've showed that it can be used for switching between apps. That's super convenient and I use it everyday! I also use peek and pop in Instagram a lot.

Also, I have this issue with "Keyboard Cursor Trackpad", I noticed it from the day one and it still happens even on 9.3, it is that it only works once. After you lift your finger it doesnt respond to 3D Touch, you have to type few letters to make it work again. Does anyone have the same issue?

EDIT: OK I see I'm not the only one. :D
 

naeS1Sean

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2011
771
1,215
Scranton, PA
I almost never use it. The only things I do actually sometimes use it for is the cursor thing and the checking MacRumors from my favorited tab icons in Safari. (shrugs)
 
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viachicago22

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2013
329
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3D Touch on the Trackpad is so annoying. It works the first time you try it, but when you lift your finger, the cursor often moves. When you go to deep press again to activate the cursor, it doesn't work, so then you just have to long press on the text to fix the cursor placement, negating the benefits of 3D Touch.

Apple- please fix this! It's clearly software that's moving the cursor as I lift my finger (something that doesn't happen while traditionally long-pressing), and preventing me from re-activating the 3D Touch cursor a second time.
This is so frustrating! I'm glad I'm not the only one.
 

ChrisCW11

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2011
1,039
1,417
This was a hyped up feature to make users think Apple was innovative and needed to upgrade their iPhone.

Realistically MOST features can be emulated with simply a long press or double tap to activate a secondary feature OR, as in the case of the keyboard trackpad, using two fingers instead of a hard press, although Apple's keyboard trackpad is one of the worst features they have ever implemented. If Apple simply updated iOS with a few critical gestures most of the 3D touch features could also be implemented in older devices.

I am sure as the idea matures there will be more direct benefit and purpose, but then again, Apple implemented a squeezable mouse that went no where so this could be a feature that dies in a couple of generations. Apple doesn't always hit it out of the park, and this is another one of those things from 2015 that even Apple fanbois are like only "meh" about.
 
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macnewbie91

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2015
323
193
After five months of 3D touch being out and trying it on one of my friend's iPhone, 3D touch actually was an okay idea.

At first, I thought it would be a gimmick, but pressing down on the screen to access shortcuts from inside the apps is very convenient and something I wouldn't be able to lose after I've become accustomed to it.
 

thevofl

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2006
189
147
I'm using Notes all the time, I'm making lists of clients. I need to edit those lists a lot, 3D touching the keyboard is very unreliable for me. It works the first time I do it, but then I want to move the cursor and it doesn't change to trackpad mode, it starts typing the letter I had my finger on. No matter the force I apply.

It makes selecting text worse, not better.
I am not the only one!!!!!! I spend way more time fixing the almost 3D Touch errors than using it.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,198
1,208
I use the 3D Touch on my MacBook for dictionary and other minor stuff. Not finding, as of now, this feature invaluable. Wonder why the article did not mention the MacBook and 3D Touch Pad.
 
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smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,693
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3d touch-- PART useful and (very much) PART poorly executed marketing gimmick in my opinion. I guess 3d touch makes sense for detecting the varying level of touch input which can be used in creative ways for example a piano keyboard app that adjusts the sound of a note played based on the touch pressure. The user doesn't have to think much about the gestures in that case and the technology makes sense. The problem though is 3d touch input isn't entirely intuitive compared with a simple swipe, tap or pinch gesture. A lack of consistency in the use means it isn't easy to discover what lurks beneath the pop or peek. Users can't be expected to force press everything on their screens with the hope something might pop. I think explanations of the technology haven't been well communicated either. Apple is adding features without a level of deep consideration of whether it is really needed or not. No one wants to see iOS turned into bloatware. Simplicity and restraint is the key and what has made Apple different, remember.
 

RosOne

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
124
291
I use the 3D Touch on my MacBook for dictionary and other minor stuff. Not finding, as of now, this feature invaluable. Wonder why the article did not mention the MacBook and 3D Touch Pad.
Maybe cause Force Touch != 3D Touch... dunno
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,654
22,334
3D touch is still new and there is really no use for it as of yet, at least until apple comes out with the new IOS version.
So you've just just decided for everyone that there's no use for it.

This was a hyped up feature to make users think Apple was innovative and needed to upgrade their iPhone.

Realistically MOST features can be emulated with simply a long press or double tap to activate a secondary feature OR, as in the case of the keyboard trackpad, using two fingers instead of a hard press, although Apple's keyboard trackpad is one of the worst features they have ever implemented. If Apple simply updated iOS with a few critical gestures most of the 3D touch features could also be implemented in older devices.

I am sure as the idea matures there will be more direct benefit and purpose, but then again, Apple implemented a squeezable mouse that went no where so this could be a feature that dies in a couple of generations. Apple doesn't always hit it out of the park, and this is another one of those things from 2015 that even Apple fanbois are like only "meh" about.
Why should we take the opinions of anyone who uses the word fanbois seriously?
 
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redman042

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2008
2,895
1,322
The 3D Touch features I use most are the keyboard trackpad and the New Tab quickaction on the Safari Icon.

I rarely use any other ones, but these two are pretty great. The keyboard trackpad function is great, but like others have mentioned it can be tricky to use until you get the hang of it. The trick I've learned is to learn to apply and release pressure without lifting your thumb as a substitute for a "mouse click" action to activate the trackpad, slide around to position cursor, press down then release pressure to select, do it again to deselect, etc. If you go to activate the trackpad and it thinks you want to type instead, just release pressure then press down again, all while staying in contact with the display.

Once I learned this, it became quite reliable to use.
 
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