3D Touch is a pressure-sensitive feature introduced by Apple on its 2015 iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus smartphones. 3D Touch uses capacitive sensors integrated into the smartphone’s display to sense three degrees of pressure in a user’s touch and respond differently based on the amount of pressure exerted.
Apple developed 3D Touch as an evolution of its Force Touch and Multi-Touch capabilities that were introduced in earlier iPhone and Apple products, adding features like “Peek” and “Pop” with 3D Touch to the existing Multi-Touch Tap, Swipe and Pinch gestures.
The Peek (light tap on the screen) and Pop (harder tap) features make it possible for a user to preview content in apps without having to actually open the app itself.
How 3D Touch Works and 3D Touch Capabilities in iOS 10
The premise behind 3D Touch is that it enables users to more quickly and efficiently perform common tasks with 3D Touch quick actions, much faster in fact than the earlier Force Touch capabilities and with the ability to sense three degrees of pressure rather than just two.
3D Touch also provides users with tactile feedback via a “taptic engine” that responds with subtle taps when the user initiates a 3D Touch gesture.
Some of the newest capabilities provided by 3D Touch via the Apple iOS 10 mobile operating system update include at-a-glance calendar notifications, detailed weather information, the ability to prioritize downloads, mini-menus with quick actions for common apps and more.