When using your iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, or 7 Plus, it’s not always obvious how and when to use the 3D Touch features, which reveal extra controls when you press harder on your phone’s screen.
Here are 12 tips from the folks at iPhonelife for making the most out of this cool way to interact with your phone, from using 3D Touch to preview emails or websites to quickly accessing app menus.
- You can now use Quick Actions and Peek on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 13+ or iPadOS
- Everything New With 3D Touch in iOS 10
- How to Use 3D Touch in iOS 10 Control Center on iPhone
3D Touch comes to all iPhones, iPad, and iPod (7th generation) with iOS 13 and iPadOS Quick Actions!
With the introduction of haptic touch devices, like the iPhone XR, Apple changed the way a long press works. Long presses now open quick action menus, just like 3D Touch but without the haptic feedback (unless you iPhone model supports haptics.)
Quick Actions with a long press don’t require an iPhone to include a pressure-sensitive 3D Touch screen. These quick action menus offer features just like 3D Touch, including Peek and app related features.
This feature is available on all iPhones, iPads and the seventh-generation iPod touch that run iOS 13 and above or iPadOS and higher.
Adjust 3D Touch Sensitivity or Disable It Altogether
If you want to change the responsiveness of 3D Touch or want to turn it off completely, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch.
Here you disable 3D Touch altogether or adjust the sensitivity levels to Light, Medium, or Firm.
- Light reduces the amount of pressure needed to make 3D Touch work.
- Firm increases it.
Make sure you’ve got the setting right by using the sensitivity test provided.
Peek at Web Pages without Actually Opening Them
Whether you encounter a link in an email or a text, or while browsing the web, firmly pressing a link lets you preview a web page in Safari without actually opening it.
- Lift your finger to return to what you were initially looking at.
- Swipe up without lifting your finger to bring up a menu of further actions such as copying the link or adding it to your Reading List.
- Press harder to open the page.
Open the App Switcher without the Home Button
Before 3D Touch, the only way to access the multitasking window was to double-tap the Home button. Then came the back button for returning to the previous app.
Now switch between apps by firmly pressing the left side of the screen and swiping to the right.
Swiping all the way across the screen opens your previous app, but swiping to the middle opens the app switcher.
Quickly Preview an Email
Thanks to 3D Touch it’s easy to find out what an email is about without opening it.
- Just press firmly on an email preview in your inbox to take a quick look at it.
- Without lifting your finger, swipe left or right on the preview to delete the email or mark the email unread.
- Or swipe up to see a menu with even more options.
- Then, just lift your finger to return to your inbox or press even harder to open the email.
Put a Live Photo Onto Your Lock Screen
The new iPhones come with a selection of live wallpaper images, but if Apple’s stock Live Photos aren’t your cup of tea, why not use your own Live Photo instead?
Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper and select a Live Photo from your personal album of Live Photos.
All it takes is a firm press on your Lock Screen to bring that image to life.
Live Photos do take up more space on your phone; fortunately, it’s easy to transfer photos from your iPhone to your computer to free up more storage.
Quickly Select and Edit Text
Selecting text for editing has never been easier thanks to 3D Touch.
Press firmly on the keyboard to turn it into a trackpad and then slide your finger up to the text you want to edit.
Press harder to select the text and then slide your finger along the words to increase your selection.
Screwed up? Just press hard a second time to start over. When finished, just lift your finger and tap the selection to bring up the editing options menu-voila!
3D Touch a Profile for Quick Contact Options
Say goodbye to searching for a friend’s contact info when you want to call or email them.
In any app that contains a contact’s initials or image in a circle, firmly press on that circle to quickly bring up a menu of options for getting in touch.
Call, FaceTime, message, or email your friends and family without ever having to open a separate app.
Peek at a Message to Avoid Triggering a Read Receipt
If you have read receipts enabled but want to read the occasional text without the sender knowing, use 3D Touch to peek into the Message by pressing firmly on the Message preview.
Lift your finger after you’ve read it and the message remains marked as unread. If you decide you want to officially read it after all, press harder to pop into the message.
To quickly reply from the preview, slide your finger up the screen and choose from the menu of preset responses.
“Right-Click” on App Icons
With 3D Touch, you often don’t even have to open an app to get where you want to go.
Called Quick Actions, this feature lets you firmly press any 3D Touch-enabled app icon on your Home screen to bring up a menu of common app functions.
3D Touch the Camera app to take a selfie quickly, text a recent contact with the Messages icon, and press the Maps icon for directions home.
Even third-party apps that don’t offer 3D Touch support are shared with others via Quick Actions.
Quickly Rename App Folders
Quick Actions aren’t limited to app icons. If you decide you want to rename an app folder on your iPhone, there’s no need to open the app and then press on the folder name to edit it.
Instead, just 3D Touch the folder and then tap Rename.
Type in your new name and tap Done. Press the Home button once to finish editing the folder and then again to return to the Home screen.
Clear All Notifications at Once Notification Center
If you have a lot of old or unimportant notifications clogging up your Notification Center, there’s no need to dismiss them one by one.
Instead, 3D Touch the x at the top of the screen and then tap Clear All Notifications to empty your Notification Center.
Check the Hourly Weather of a Location in Maps
3D Touch the local temperature displayed in the bottom right corner of a map to peek at a preview of the hourly forecast for that location. When you finish, just lift your finger to return to the map.
If you want more in-depth weather information, just press harder to pop into the Weather app.