The iPhone’s 3D Touch is one of its more underrated features. There are the obvious big things it can do, like Peek and Pop, but there are also loads of little uses that you probably haven’t heard of. Let’s take a look at some of them.
3D Touch is Apple’s pressure sensitive touch feature available on the iPhone 6S, 7, 8, X, and their equivalent Plus models. When you press harder on the screen, iOS detects it and can do something different than if you’d just tapped; for example, it can show you a list of Quick Actions rather than open the app. We’ve already looked at the basics of 3D Touch so let’s dive a little deeper.
Quickly Move the Cursor as You Type
You might have heard of this feature, but it’s too good to leave out. It’s flat out my favorite use for 3D Touch and I use it daily. If you’re typing text and want to move the cursor, 3D Touch on the keyboard and you can drag the cursor around as you like. It basically turns the keyboard into a touch pad. Try it, and you’ll never go back to the old, awkward method of trying to position the cursor by tapping just right.
Clear All Your Notifications at Once
Clearing notifications from the Notification Center on iOS can be a bit of a pain and takes at least a few taps. That is, unless, you 3D Touch on the little X, and then select the “Clear All Notifications” option.
Jump to Any App in a Folder With a Notification
Folders are a great way to sort your apps—or hide apps you seldom use—but it’s no fun to have to go digging through a folder to find which app is causing the notification badge. If you 3D Touch on a folder with notifications, however, you’ll see a list of all the apps that have one.
Turn On AirDrop and Personal Hotspot from the Control Center
The Control Center is a lot more powerful than it use to be, but there are still—at first glance—a few options missing, like enabling AirDrop and your Personal Hotspot. To get to them, 3D Touch the connection options (being careful not to accidentally toggle Airplane Mode on or your mobile data off).
Prioritize App Store Downloads
If you’re downloading a lot of large apps at once—setting up a new iPhone, restoring from backup, or there are just a lot of updates—you can prioritize which apps get downloaded first by 3D Touching a downloading app and selecting the “Prioritize Download” option. This way, you can get the important apps up and running first.
Instantly Take a Selfie or Record a Video
Lots of apps have quick shortcuts when you 3D press them on the Home Screen, but the Camera app’s are especially useful because you’re much more likely to want to jump into a particular mode. A 3D press on the Camera app brings up options to take a selfie, record video, record slo-mo, and just take a photo. It’s useful for when you need to capture something quickly.
Easily Save an Image from the Web
While you can’t just download any image and use it how you like, there are plenty of non-copyright infringing reasons you might want to save an image from a web. The quickest way to do it is to 3D Touch the image you want to save, swipe up, and then select the “Save Image” option.
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Stop Google Serving You AMP Pages
At How-To Geek, we’re pretty big fans of Google’s AMP project. We’ve made our whole site compatible. However, if you aren’t as much of a fan, you can use 3D Touch to avoid it. Whenever you see an AMP link in a Google search in Safari, 3D Touch it until it opens, and Google will skip the AMP page and send you straight to the regular website.
Delete Text You’ve Typed Faster
The longer you hold the backspace key in iOS, the faster it deletes text. If, however, you start off by 3D Touching the key, the text will be deleted even faster. I didn’t believe it until I tried it because you don’t get the normal haptic feedback, but it works.
Get a Short Summary of a Movie or Show on Netflix
When you’re browsing Netflix in the iOS app, if you want a quick summary of any movie or show you can get it just by 3D Touching on the icon. It’s great for checking out shows without actually clicking over to them.
3D Touch is one of iOS’s killer features. It’s integrated with the operating system—and many apps—in lots of clever little ways.