Apple Plans to Expand Uses of Haptic Touch on iPhone XR Over Time

By now, you've probably heard that the iPhone XR features a new technology called Haptic Touch instead of the usual 3D Touch.

haptic touch
Haptic Touch is simply a marketing name for a long press combined with haptic feedback from the Taptic Engine. The feature is a substitute for 3D Touch, which Apple wasn't able to include on the iPhone XR in order to achieve a nearly edge-to-edge LCD screen, a remarkable engineering feat.

The biggest downfall with Haptic Touch is that it currently works in only a few places, such as the flashlight and camera shortcuts on the lock screen, and in Control Center to pop open additional toggles and menus. Fortunately, that won't be the case forever, according to The Verge's Nilay Patel.

From Patel's iPhone XR review, emphasis ours:

Haptic Touch does not have equivalents to everything 3D Touch can do, however — I missed previewing links in Safari and Twitter quite a bit. Apple told me it's working to bring it to more places in iOS over time, but that it's going slow to make sure the implementation is right.

Apple did not provide a timeframe, but it's safe to assume that additional Haptic Touch gestures will be added in future software updates.

It'll be interesting to see where Apple expands Haptic Touch across iOS, as the feature can only be implemented for actions that don't already rely on a long press. For example, long-pressing on an app icon on the home screen enables "wiggle mode," allowing apps to be deleted or rearranged on the home screen.

For that reason, Haptic Touch does not work with Quick Actions when you long press on an app icon on the iPhone XR home screen. Haptic Touch also doesn't support Peek and Pop for previewing content such as links and messages.

peek pop

3D Touch: Quick Actions on left, Peek and Pop on right

Apple already works around the lack of 3D Touch for keyboard trackpad mode. In iOS 12, users can simply tap and hold the space bar to enter the trackpad mode, which allows for easier movement of the cursor within text fields. This user interface change was more than likely inspired by the iPhone XR.

A few months ago, Barclays analysts said it is "widely understood" among Apple's supply chain partners that all 2019 iPhones will lack 3D Touch. If accurate, Apple's plans to expand Haptic Touch may go beyond software. For now, the pressure-sensitive feature lives on with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Related Roundup: iPhone XR
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Agneev Avatar
35 months ago
Not liking this. 3D Touch is my most favorite feature on iPhone. Can't fathom it's disappearance.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brofkand Avatar
35 months ago
3D Touch could have been "long press" since day 1. Wasted engineering effort, like the compact Mac Pro.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shadow Jolteon Avatar
35 months ago
Not liking this. 3D Touch is my most favorite feature on iPhone. Can't fathom it's disappearance.
Same here. Both me and my husband use it all the time and love it. The lack of it was the one thing that made me go back and forth on whether or not to get an iPhone Xr. (Though, we ended up preordering ours a couple days ago.)

I didn't realize that the long press solution wasn't replacing the functionality of 3D Touch/Force Touch all around. A long press isn't as convenient or quick, but I was willing to compromise if I could still use the preview features, which I use all the time. I'm really hoping they add at least the Peek and Pop feature for devices without it really soon.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kestrel452 Avatar
35 months ago
How about they focus on getting Touch ID and the headphone jack re-introduced instead???
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
garoto Avatar
35 months ago
3D Touch could have been "long press" since day 1. Wasted engineering effort, like the cMP.
That’s horrendously false. I am not tied to the amount of time a tap and hold takes with 3D Touch. Over time, that’s a lot of
3D Touch could have been "long press" since day 1. Wasted engineering effort, like the cMP.
I’m amazed at how many people don’t understand what 3D Touch is. You should work with them, and merge your $1T Tap-and-Hold company with Apple’s.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Agit21 Avatar
35 months ago
3D Touch was useless from the beginning. And it makes the devices thicker and more expensive for Apple.
Long press and hold is the solution, works great on the spacebar for moving the cursor in iOS 12.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
macos monterey setup assistant

macOS Monterey Allows You to Erase a Mac Without Needing to Reinstall the Operating System

Wednesday June 9, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by
It's been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features that weren't mentioned during the WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way of erasing a Mac. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has gained an "Erase All Content and Settings" option on macOS Monterey. The option allows you to erase all user data and...
EEC Apple iphone 13

Apple Registers iPhone 13 Models in Eurasia Ahead of September Launch

Friday June 11, 2021 2:16 am PDT by
Nashville Chatter Class has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database pointing towards several unreleased iPhone 13 models that Apple will be launching in the fall. Versions of iPhone running iOS 14 are listed with the model numbers A2628, A2630, A2634, A2635, A2640, A2643, and A2645. None of the numbers correspond to Apple's...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...
live text macos monterey

Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs

Wednesday June 9, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
While there are many great new features in macOS Monterey, several of them are not available on Intel-based Macs, according to Apple. On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020:Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
apple logo plain

Trump Administration Subpoenaed Apple for Data on Two House Intelligence Committee Democrats

Thursday June 10, 2021 6:21 pm PDT by
When investigating leaks of classified information during the early days of the Trump Administration, the United States Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for metadata from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, reports The New York Times. Apple was also required to provide data from their aides and family members, with the DoJ requesting the records of...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
ios15 mail privacy feature

Apple Putting a Stop to Email Tracking Pixels With Mail Privacy Protection in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Thursday June 10, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
Tracking when you've opened up an email and what you've read is something that many companies and advertisers rely on for their marketing efforts, plus there are email clients out there designed to let users know when the emails they've sent have been opened up. Much of this tracking is facilitated by remote images that load when viewing an email, and some of it is even sneakier, with...