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.


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.

Top Rated Comments

Corrode Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aceys Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pwhitehead Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RosOne Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RosOne Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smacrumon Avatar
69 months 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
14

Apple Says iOS 14.5 Will Be Released 'Next Week'

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Apple today in a press release about its new AirTag item tracker announced that iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be available starting "next week." iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will also be the minimum software versions...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
maxresdefault

Apple Event 2021: Everything Apple Announced at Its 'Spring Loaded' Event in Just 6 Minutes

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:23 pm PDT by
Apple today held its first event of 2021, and it was one of the most exciting events that we've seen in some time. Apple announced a whole slew of new products, including an M1 iMac, an M1 iPad Pro, a refreshed 4K Apple TV, and the long-awaited AirTags. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce all of the new devices during its virtual...