Inside iOS 10: 3D Touch enhances Apple's quick Control Center shortcuts on iPhone 7 & 6s series

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
Apple's force sensing 3D Touch technology is greatly expanded in the newly released iOS 10 update, adding new capabilities to the Control Center shortcuts for flashlight, timer, calculator, camera, and smart home accessories. In addition, Control Center marks the only place in iOS 10 where Apple emulates 3D Touch on non-3D Touch devices.



Control Center gets a major revamp in iOS 10, adding new dedicated panes for music and HomeKit controls. But there are also hidden capabilities within the update, found only by pressing firmly on the Control Center shortcuts.

On the main Control Center view, four icons remain, offering quick links to flashlight, timer, calculator and camera. Press with force against these on an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus or the iPhone 6s series, and you'll discover new 3D Touch options for even greater control.

With the flashlight, Apple offers users the ability to choose brightness intensity levels of low, medium and high.

For the timer shortcut, a 3D Touch press brings up four quick options: 1 hour, 20 minutes, 5 minutes, or 1 minute.

The camera shortcut in Control Center can be pressed firmly to bring up options to take a traditional photo, record in slow motion, record a video, or take a selfie.

Finally, the calculator shortcut will present users with the ability to copy the last result from the application.



Swiping toward the left from the traditional Control Center input brings up a dedicated music menu, which does not have any 3D Touch capabilities. But one more swipe toward the left presents a new HomeKit view where 3D Touch input is possible.

In the default "Favorite Accessories" view, using 3D Touch on a specific accessory pops up a new menu with more advanced controls. In the case of HomeKit-connected light bulbs, 3D Touch offers quick access to brightness controls, as well as another menu link to adjusting colors. A total of six default colors are presented, and can be edited to a user's liking.

The HomeKit Control Center menu also features a link to user-programmed scenes. These can also be pressed with 3D Touch to access further options, based on devices and settings.

The new Home Control Center is noteworthy because it appears to be the only place in iOS 10 where Apple "emulates" 3D Touch on legacy devices. Presumably because of the necessity of offering more advanced brightness/color controls for bulbs without cluttering the interface, a long press on HomeKit items in Control Center will "pop" open the item when using an iPhone SE, iPhone 6 series or earlier.

In other instances of 3D Touch input on non-3D Touch devices --?such as actionable notifications on the lock screen, where users must swipe left and select from menu options --?Apple has found other, less convenient ways to interact with the content.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in June following Apple's announcement of iOS 10 at WWDC 2016. It has been updated and republished to coincide with the mobile operating system's public release. For more on iOS 10, see AppleInsider's ongoing Inside iOS 10.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Something that Apple should copy from Android is a 3D touch on the dashboard Wifi icon, which on Android opens a list of all the wifi networks around you.

    I'm torn about 3D Touch in general. It adds complexity to the interface by forcing end-users to deal with another interaction concept: pressure.
    80% of the situations requiring 3D Touch I've seen can be solved by long-pressing the element. Why add pressure as a component at all?
    ...With the major exception being app icons on the home screen: a long-press would interfere with the wobbly-animation-move-items mode. But this can be simply solved by entering the mode in a different way. Giving up a long-press on app icons is a more logical sacrifice to me if the mode can be triggered differently. It would also open up "3D touch" for their entire range of products. 

     
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 2 of 20
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    so


    many


    gestures.....
    mwhite
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Love these new features and I'm so so looking forward to use them with my Phillips hue lights.

    Well done Apple!
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 4 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    why- said:
    so


    many


    gestures.....
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You

    nolamacguybestkeptsecret
  • Reply 5 of 20
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    foggyhill said:
    why- said:
    so


    many


    gestures.....
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You


    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    mwhite
  • Reply 6 of 20
    ksecksec Posts: 1,545member
    I think, many of these iOS 10 Beta features points to a coherent design, or layering out the ground work for iPhone 8. iPhone 7 will be incremental design and hardware upgrade along with iOS 10 features. The amount of API they opened up in iOS 10 is absolutely unprecedented.

    But the design is pointing towards a possible move, iPhone 8 will be a Edge to Edge Screen Display, i.e Similar iPhone Plus Size but 6.8" Screen. And if you expand the Edge to Edge Design 3 years down the road, an iPhone SE or TE will be similar size but with a screen of ~5".

    Edit:
    Assuming a Edge to Edge Display with 3mm gap each side

    6 Plus: ~6.5"
    6 :  ~ 5.7"
    SE: ~5" /  ( 4.85" / 4.9" If kept to the same ratio of the two above )

    Unfortunately The Aspect Ratio is closer to 21:10, which is not any standard like 16:9 or 21:9.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 7 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    why- said:
    foggyhill said:
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You


    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?

    The point of 3D touch is obscuring deeper controls, if you want simple, don't use it.
    On Androids you'd have to press once, go into sub menus for all those things; it is slower and you lose context by doing that.
    If you want to do more precise things, sometimes a bit more complexity is inevitable.

    Iphones these days can do so many more things than computer 10 years ago could do, and there are no miracles to get all that power.
    There is only so much screen real estate and ways of input to get things done.

    Trying to kluge "simplicity" for simplicity's sake can end up with a convoluted mess.

    BTW, my comment didn't just point to your last comment but all your other ones too.

    nolamacguypatchythepirateargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,645member
    why- said:
    foggyhill said:
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You


    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    Pressing harder is too complicated?
    patchythepirate[Deleted User]
  • Reply 9 of 20
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 749member
    Re: "But there are also hidden capabilities within the update, found only by pressing firmly on the Control Center shortcuts."

    This captures my ambivalence about 3D Touch: "hidden". The user has no idea which screens and icons have this hidden functionality, and therefore much of it never gets used. I love my iPhone 6S, but I rarely use 3D Touch because the UI doesn't let me know where I can use it. And -- on a semi-related note -- I do find the the Long Press gesture would provide an equally good input in most (or all?) cases.


    defecta
  • Reply 10 of 20
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    why- said:
    foggyhill said:
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You


    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    have you even used them?
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 11 of 20
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    foggyhill said:
    why- said:

    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?

    The point of 3D touch is obscuring deeper controls, if you want simple, don't use it.
    On Androids you'd have to press once, go into sub menus for all those things; it is slower and you lose context by doing that.
    If you want to do more precise things, sometimes a bit more complexity is inevitable.

    Iphones these days can do so many more things than computer 10 years ago could do, and there are no miracles to get all that power.
    There is only so much screen real estate and ways of input to get things done.

    Trying to kluge "simplicity" for simplicity's sake can end up with a convoluted mess.

    BTW, my comment didn't just point to your last comment but all your other ones too.


    I have 194 posts on various topics on this site. you'll have to be a bit more specific

    crowley said:
    why- said:

    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    Pressing harder is too complicated?

    to me, yes, it is. but it's not just 3D touch. It seems that in iOS a lot of the functionality is linked to swipes and for someone who's used to taps and presses that can get quite confusing

    why- said:

    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    have you even used them?

    I've tried using a 6S in stores and it just didn't feel like something I could ever get used to
    edited June 2016 mwhite
  • Reply 12 of 20
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    why- said:
    foggyhill said:

    The point of 3D touch is obscuring deeper controls, if you want simple, don't use it.
    On Androids you'd have to press once, go into sub menus for all those things; it is slower and you lose context by doing that.
    If you want to do more precise things, sometimes a bit more complexity is inevitable.

    Iphones these days can do so many more things than computer 10 years ago could do, and there are no miracles to get all that power.
    There is only so much screen real estate and ways of input to get things done.

    Trying to kluge "simplicity" for simplicity's sake can end up with a convoluted mess.

    BTW, my comment didn't just point to your last comment but all your other ones too.

    I've tried using a 6S in stores and it just didn't feel like something I could ever get used to
    but you're complaining about the new functionality in the beta. that you haven't even used. 

    and 2 seconds of using 3D Touch in the store hardly puts you in a good position to criticize it. comical, really. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 13 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Re: "But there are also hidden capabilities within the update, found only by pressing firmly on the Control Center shortcuts."

    This captures my ambivalence about 3D Touch: "hidden". The user has no idea which screens and icons have this hidden functionality, and therefore much of it never gets used. I love my iPhone 6S, but I rarely use 3D Touch because the UI doesn't let me know where I can use it. And -- on a semi-related note -- I do find the the Long Press gesture would provide an equally good input in most (or all?) cases.


    How? A long press takes time (and humans are terrible at judging intervals and at waiting) while a 3d touch can be instantaneous. Time is a very hard thing to gauge while pressure it not (once you've calibrated yourself or the phone (you can adjust the level)).  So, how would long press be comparable at all? The long touch is a lot more haphazard and slow in its response than 3d touch.

    People complain of microsecond delays in IOS in new upgrades and you think they'll find long press and 3d touch interchangeable?

    Also, how are long touch functions more intuitive and easier to discover? The complaint I can somewhat agree on?

    I understand that the discovery of gestures and 3D touch is not as easy as what you can discover visually, but that's to be expected

     
    radarthekat
  • Reply 14 of 20
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,705member
    Re: "But there are also hidden capabilities within the update, found only by pressing firmly on the Control Center shortcuts."

    This captures my ambivalence about 3D Touch: "hidden". The user has no idea which screens and icons have this hidden functionality, and therefore much of it never gets used. I love my iPhone 6S, but I rarely use 3D Touch because the UI doesn't let me know where I can use it. And -- on a semi-related note -- I do find the the Long Press gesture would provide an equally good input in most (or all?) cases.
    They're rather more like context menus on the Mac: They're shortcuts that are hidden by default, but very helpful if you know about them and can deal with an extra layer of interface complexity. 

    I'm using 3d Touch more and more, and it's a nifty timesaver. It's not one of those "oh wow" features, but one that grows on you until you really don't want to miss it. 

    My next phone will probably be a smaller one again (6s is still too big for me), but only if they add 3d Touch to it.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    why- said:
    foggyhill said:
    So.
    Many
    Pointless
    Comments
    From
    You


    I'm sorry am I not allowed to complain about features I find overly complicated?
    it's not like they're the only way to access certain commands, it's shortcuts. you don't HAVE to use them.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,645member
    why- said:
    to me, yes, it is. but it's not just 3D touch. It seems that in iOS a lot of the functionality is linked to swipes and for someone who's used to taps and presses that can get quite confusing
    iOS has had gestures since the very start, so I'm sure you must be getting used to it.  Else, how did you unlock your phone before TouchID?  
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 17 of 20
    irelandireland Posts: 17,526member
    Could someone tell me where I can get a list of hubless bayonet HomeKit bulbs?

    Read: must be hubless.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    I think it will be interesting to see what Apple does with 3D touch once it releases an iOS that orphans the non-3D-touch phones.  A year ago I would have thought that would take place by Sept 2018, however I think the iPhone 5SE doesn't have 3D touch.  That kind of bolluxes things.  They are kind of stuck with the 5SE for a while since it is still a current product and they have to support it for at least 2 years.  Right now Apple has support in iOS10 for phones which were announced in Sept of 2012.  If they kept 4 years support and iOS releases in Sept as a rule, then it'll be until Sept 2020 before we see a 3D-touch-required iOS.  I think.  

    edited September 2016
  • Reply 19 of 20
    crowley said:
    why- said:
    to me, yes, it is. but it's not just 3D touch. It seems that in iOS a lot of the functionality is linked to swipes and for someone who's used to taps and presses that can get quite confusing
    iOS has had gestures since the very start, so I'm sure you must be getting used to it.  Else, how did you unlock your phone before TouchID?  
    I especially bought a 6s to learn to use force touch. I also bought the latest MacBook Pro with a force touch track pad. Since then I have been training myself to use it. I like new stuff. I have little compassion for people complaining why things don't stay the same. Still - and I hate to admit this - I keep forgetting this functionality. For me it's still a gimmick, not something I would miss, as I would with swipes and two and three finger moves.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    yeah 3D touch is unintuitive and undiscoverable. Dumbest piece of over-engineered tech ever. That said, why the WiFi icon doesn't have 3D touch but the Calculator does seems like a stupid oversight. Fix it already!
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