The iPhone XR does not have 3D Touch, instead relying on something called Haptic Touch. It offers much the same features, and as of right now, it’s an iPhone XR exclusive. Here’s how to set it up.

If you’re new to the iPhone XR, you may not realize that you have Haptic Touch, and you wouldn’t be the first, either. Haptic Touch is the iPhone XR’s replacement for 3D Touch, something most iPhone owners played with and then forgot about.

What is Haptic Touch?

Haptic Touch acts as a right-click of sorts, allowing iPhone XR owners to activate menus and buttons that would normally be unavailable. Activating Haptic Touch on a notification, for example, presents additional options for notification management. Another example of where Haptic Touch can be helpful is in Control Center, where users can tap-and-hold on an icon to gain more granular control of a feature.

To alert users that Haptic Touch has been activated, iOS generates a small vibration to mimic a click.

How 3D Touch and Haptic Touch Differ

The differences between the two are fairly minor, with the implementation of the two features being the main difference. While 3D Touch requires a firm press on the iPhone’s display, Haptic Touch instead has them press-and-hold until they feel a haptic response.

The differences continue into what you can do with Haptic Touch. For the most part, anything that works via 3D Touch is also possible with Haptic Touch, which two notable exceptions. First, you can’t access app-based shortcuts from the Home screen. Second, Haptic Touch does not support “peek & pop,” a feature that offers previews of anything from images to URLs. That’s the biggest miss of the two, but you pays your money, you takes your choice.

With all that said, if you’re an iPhone XR owner then you should at least take Haptic Touch for a spin.

How to Set up Haptic Touch

Whether you’re new to Haptic Touch or are a 3D Touch veteran, open Settings to get the ball rolling and then tap “General.”

Next, tap “Accessibility.” It may not be the most obvious place for such an option to reside, but it’s true.

To access the Haptic Touch options, tap the entry by the same name.

The final screen lets you alter how long it takes to activate Haptic Touch, while also offering a test button to test the change without leaving the Settings app.

Oddly, Apple chose not to allow disabling Haptic Touch (which they did with 3D Touch). If you find that you are accidentally activating Haptic Touch, try setting the Touch Duration to “Slow” and see if that improves matters.

Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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