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Lesser-Known 3D Touch Features: Peek and Pop Safari Tabs, Keyboard Trackpad, and More

The launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus brought a new range of gestures to the iPhone, introducing 3D Touch. 3D Touch adds a pressure dimension to the traditional multi-touch controls on iOS devices to enable Peek and Pop, Quick Actions, pressure-sensitive drawing, and more.

Because 3D Touch is an entirely new feature, it can be difficult to adjust to all of the available gestures and to find the hidden things that can be done with it. In the video below, we've rounded up some of the neatest 3D Touch abilities including a Peek gesture to view all Safari tabs, useful third-party Quick Actions, and cursor control.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

3D Touch is limited to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus at the current time, but there have been rumors suggesting Apple is planning to expand it to additional devices in the future. Scaling it up to work with a larger screen has reportedly introduced some problems that Apple will need to work through before introducing 3D Touch on future iPads, but we can expect to see it in the upcoming iPhone 7.

In a MacRumors Twitter poll conducted in December, 40 percent of 8,100 entrants said they don't use 3D Touch, while another 25 percent said they use the feature only occasionally. As a new feature, it takes some time for longtime iPhone owners to get used to incorporating new gestures into their daily usage routines.


If you have additional favorite apps with useful Quick Actions or other notable use cases for 3D Touch, make sure to comment. For more information on using 3D Touch, make sure to check out our how to.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Tag: 3D Touch
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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27 weeks ago
3D Touch on the Trackpad is so annoying. It works the first time you try it, but when you lift your finger, the cursor often moves. When you go to deep press again to activate the cursor, it doesn't work, so then you just have to long press on the text to fix the cursor placement, negating the benefits of 3D Touch.

Apple- please fix this! It's clearly software that's moving the cursor as I lift my finger (something that doesn't happen while traditionally long-pressing), and preventing me from re-activating the 3D Touch cursor a second time.
Rating: 14 Votes
27 weeks ago
You missed an extra feature with the App Switcher shortcut. If you press hard on the side and swipe across the whole screen, it quick swaps you back to the previous app.
Rating: 13 Votes
27 weeks ago
3D touch is still new and there is really no use for it as of yet, at least until apple comes out with the new IOS version.
Rating: 6 Votes
27 weeks ago

I use it everyday to switch between apps.


In the beginning I thought it's inconvenient for app switching, but now after so many months I don't double tap the home button at all. 3D touch app switching is great.
Rating: 5 Votes
27 weeks ago

3D Touch on the Trackpad is so annoying. It works the first time you try it, but when you lift your finger, the cursor often moves. When you go to deep press again to activate the cursor, it doesn't work, so then you just have to long press on the text to fix the cursor placement, negating the benefits of 3D Touch.

Apple- please fix this! It's clearly software that's moving the cursor as I lift my finger (something that doesn't happen while traditionally long-pressing), and preventing me from re-activating the 3D Touch cursor a second time.


I'm using Notes all the time, I'm making lists of clients. I need to edit those lists a lot, 3D touching the keyboard is very unreliable for me. It works the first time I do it, but then I want to move the cursor and it doesn't change to trackpad mode, it starts typing the letter I had my finger on. No matter the force I apply.

It makes selecting text worse, not better.
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago
3d touch-- PART useful and (very much) PART poorly executed marketing gimmick in my opinion. I guess 3d touch makes sense for detecting the varying level of touch input which can be used in creative ways for example a piano keyboard app that adjusts the sound of a note played based on the touch pressure. The user doesn't have to think much about the gestures in that case and the technology makes sense. The problem though is 3d touch input isn't entirely intuitive compared with a simple swipe, tap or pinch gesture. A lack of consistency in the use means it isn't easy to discover what lurks beneath the pop or peek. Users can't be expected to force press everything on their screens with the hope something might pop. I think explanations of the technology haven't been well communicated either. Apple is adding features without a level of deep consideration of whether it is really needed or not. No one wants to see iOS turned into bloatware. Simplicity and restraint is the key and what has made Apple different, remember.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
The keyboard trackpad is awesome, when it works, and is probably my most used 3D Touch feature.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago

3D touch is still new and there is really no use for it as of yet, at least until apple comes out with the new IOS version.

So you've just just decided for everyone that there's no use for it.

This was a hyped up feature to make users think Apple was innovative and needed to upgrade their iPhone.

Realistically MOST features can be emulated with simply a long press or double tap to activate a secondary feature OR, as in the case of the keyboard trackpad, using two fingers instead of a hard press, although Apple's keyboard trackpad is one of the worst features they have ever implemented. If Apple simply updated iOS with a few critical gestures most of the 3D touch features could also be implemented in older devices.

I am sure as the idea matures there will be more direct benefit and purpose, but then again, Apple implemented a squeezable mouse that went no where so this could be a feature that dies in a couple of generations. Apple doesn't always hit it out of the park, and this is another one of those things from 2015 that even Apple fanbois are like only "meh" about.


Why should we take the opinions of anyone who uses the word fanbois seriously?
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago
What percentage of that No vote count came from people still using a 6 or 6 Plus?
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago

I'm using Notes all the time, I'm making lists of clients. I need to edit those lists a lot, 3D touching the keyboard is very unreliable for me. It works the first time I do it, but then I want to move the cursor and it doesn't change to trackpad mode, it starts typing the letter I had my finger on. No matter the force I apply.

It makes selecting text worse, not better.


I am not the only one!!!!!! I spend way more time fixing the almost 3D Touch errors than using it.
Rating: 2 Votes

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