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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
61 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)
Avatar
61 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)
Avatar
61 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)
Avatar
61 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)
Avatar
61 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)
Avatar
61 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

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...