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3D Touch Needs to Be Pervasive

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:

Kuo says that the 6.1-inch iPhone will use what he calls “Cover Glass Sensor” (CGS) technology, relocating the iPhone’s touch module from the display panel (in-cell technology) to the surface glass. The CGS method reportedly results in a display that’s lighter and more shock resistant.

With this display technology, Apple will add a thin-film sensor to the touch film sensor included in the CGS, but the purpose of the new layer is unknown. It will, however, result in a 15 percent increase in the cost of the touch panel, resulting in a higher purchase price of $23 to $26.

To offset the cost of the new display it plans to use, Kuo believes Apple will remove the 3D Touch functionality on the 6.1-inch iPhone, which would be a curious move as 3D Touch is well-integrated throughout the operating system that runs on the iPhone at this point.

I don’t generally link to rumors like this, but this one caught my eye because I’ve been thinking a lot about 3D Touch lately. 3D Touch is the sort of feature that either needs to be on all iPhones or else should be dropped. If it’s not pervasive across the entire platform, developers can’t count on it. I think that’s why it’s underutilized today. But it’s one thing to wait for older iPhones from the pre-3D Touch era to drop out of usage. It’s another for Apple to sell a brand new phone in 2018 without it. I’m not going to rant and rave about something that’s only a rumor — but if September rolls around and Apple ships this new phone without 3D Touch to save a few measly dollars, I’m going to rant and rave.

I also think it’s a serious problem that iPhones have 3D Touch and iPads don’t, yet iPads are stuck running an OS where 3D Touch is the way to bring up a contextual shortcut menu, but that’s a different rant.

Friday, 27 April 2018