Evaluating 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s
If you have a new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, are you familiar with Apple’s new “3D Touch” gesture? It’s like Force Touch on an Apple Watch, but where Force Touch is associated with the entire screen, 3D Touch is connected with a particular interface element. And where Force Touch presents a menu for the watch screen you’re looking at, 3D Touch can provide either a quick-actions view or a peek-and-pop content preview, both of which are contextual to where you made the 3D Touch. In a post from late last year, Raluca Budiu of Nielsen Norman Group explains the benefits of 3D Touch, and while acknowledging the significant challenges the new gesture faces, she encourages iOS developers to support the feature so we users have a chance to learn it — if too few apps support 3D Touch, we will be disappointed too many times to build the gesture into our usage patterns.
I use 3D touch a lot on my iPhone, though rarely on the springboard. Where I use it most is to switch apps (3D touch on left side and slide) and to use the keyboard as a trackpad.
This last is the problem though, because sometimes (and often enough to be annoying) this gesture does not work. I've had, for example, iMessages where I used 3D touch to edit a word near the beginning of my message, but then am unable to use it to get to a word later in the message,
This means I use the 'trackpad' less than I would otherwise.
I'm a Mac consultant and have to deal with Macs of varying vintages. Since Apple introduced the so-called 'natural' scrolling direction my muscle memory has been destroyed; I have no idea which way a client's machine will scroll, have to faff about to find out, and then forget. New gestures only work on new hardware; I find my daughter's new 13" MBP almost unusable because of its Force Touch trackpad.
Very few of my clients use any of Apple's extended gestures. They don't seem to miss them, and generally, when setting up a new Mac, they ask me to turn them off. Few even use secondary clicks to drop contextual menus. Then again, many of my clients, being photographers, use a Wacom tablet for almost everything.
Some clients have what used to be called Exposé enabled. Generally it drives them mad; they have no idea what causes it, and are mightily relieved when I disable it. Like almost all of my clients I don’t use Mission Control, Widgets or Spaces (or whatever it’s called nowadays). Command-H is my friend; apart from Command-Z it’s probably the single most useful shortcut I teach people.
My preferred input device is a Magic Mouse. I even use it for retouching most of the time.
Yeah, I'd be really curious what percent of Mac users ever figure out many of these gestures. I don't use a trackpad on my main Mac, so I never use them on my MacBook Air either.