Force Touch is a feature developed by Apple that senses the level of force exerted on a touchpad or similar display surface, and responds accordingly. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the display to distinguish between taps and harder presses, and then provides a specific action or contextually specific controls based on the force of the input.
The software that manages the Force Touch feature can, for example, play a Quicktime video faster on the screen if the user presses harder than a light tap, which would play the video at regular speed. On the Apple Watch, Force Touch delivers additional functionality such as providing controls in apps like Messages and Music when the user presses firmly on the Watch display.
Force Touch on Apple Devices and for Developer Use
Force Touch first arrived on Apple’s 2015 Apple MacBook notebooks, followed by the initial debut of the Apple Watch. The Force Touch feature is also expected to be included in the late 2015 release of the Apple iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
Apple has also released Xcode 6 and other development resources to help developers learn how to add Force Touch trackpad functionality to their apps as well as APIs that help them build Force Touch-capable apps.