3D Touch Likely Dropped in 2019 iPhones as Haptic Touch Expanded Across iPhones and iPads
Earlier this month, it was reported that 3D Touch will not be supported by 2019 iPhones. This rumor was surfaced by a team of Barclays analysts after they traveled to Asia and spoke with multiple Apple suppliers, likely meaning that there is evidence of 3D Touch being removed at the hardware level.
Now, on the software side, there are changes that suggest the rumor is accurate. It really looks like pressure-sensitive 3D Touch is going away.
Apple has confirmed that both "Quick Actions" menus that float above app icons on the home screen and "Peek" previews of emails, links, messages, and more are now supported on any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 13 or iPadOS. These features were previously exclusive to iPhones with 3D Touch.
Both features rely on a long press, aka pressing and holding, meaning this is effectively an expansion of the Haptic Touch functionality that debuted on the iPhone XR last year. Haptic Touch is simply a marketing term for a long press combined with haptic feedback from the Taptic Engine.
Notably, this means Quick Actions menus and Peek previews are now supported on the iPhone XR and the iPad Air 2 or newer for the first time ever.
The ability to invoke Quick Actions menus and Peek previews with a long press in iOS 13 is even supported on iPhones with 3D Touch, including the iPhone XS models, likely foreshadowing the removal of 3D Touch from 2019 iPhones.
3D Touch can still be used in iOS 13 on iPhones that support the feature, resulting in two ways to invoke Quick Actions menus. This includes the iPhone 6s through iPhone XS Max, excluding the iPhone SE. However, some users are unable to access 3D Touch settings in the first iOS 13 beta, which is likely a bug.
The transition from 3D Touch to Haptic Touch for Peek previews was hinted at a few weeks ago. As noted by developer Radek Pietruszewski, open source WebKit commits revealed that the APIs for the feature, previously known as Peek and Pop, would be deprecated in a future iOS version.
All in all, there is a strong possibility that 2019 iPhones will feature Haptic Touch instead of 3D Touch when they are released later this year.