Apple Drops Force Touch Gesture in watchOS 7

Apple has elected to drop support for Force Touch in watchOS 7, indicating that the Apple Watch Series 6 will not include the firm-press gesture from the outset.

weather force touch

Force Touch used in the Weather app on watchOS 6

Force Touch can be used in watchOS 6 to reveal hidden menus on Apple Watch, such as options to clear notifications and customize the current Watch Face. These options will no longer be accessed using the Force Touch gesture when watchOS 7 is released. Apple's new Human Interface Guidelines for developers making apps for watchOS 7 confirms the change:

Firm press and long press. In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could press firmly on the display to do things like change the watch face or reveal a hidden menu called a Force Touch menu. In watchOS 7 and later, system apps make previously hidden menu items accessible in a related screen or a settings screen. If you formerly supported a long-press gesture to open a hidden menu, consider relocating the menu items elsewhere.

Several native apps in the watchOS 7 beta already reflect the gesture's removal. For example, the Force Touch gesture for the app layout Grid/List View has been replaced by a menu option in the Settings app. Similarly, changing the Calendar view must now be done in Settings, while the gesture to Change Move Goal in the Activity app has become just another menu item. The Customize Watch Face menu is now accessed via a long press.

In 2018, Apple did something similar when the iPhone XR was introduced with a ‌Haptic Touch‌ feature that replaced ‌3D Touch‌. While ‌Haptic Touch‌ (aka long press) is essentially a feedback mechanism, ‌3D Touch‌ offered genuine input options like Peek and Pop. This change has since expanded to the entire ‌iPhone‌ lineup, which has allowed Apple to remove the capacitive layer integrated into the ‌iPhone‌ display.

Apple's reasoning behind the removal of the firm-press gesture on Apple Watch isn't clear, but it could be that not enough users were aware of it for it to be genuinely useful, or perhaps Apple decided that some of the functions it offered were replicated elsewhere and therefore redundant.

With no need for a Force Touch layer in future Apple Watch models, Apple could conceivably use the extra space to include a larger battery, but that's pure speculation at this point. We won't know until the Apple Watch Series 6 makes its debut in the fall. Will you miss Force Touch or was it something you didn't use? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Sheza Avatar
28 months ago
This is not good, IMO.

I adjusted away from 3D Touch pretty quickly, but this was an important mechanism for a device with a tiny screen.
Score: 76 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johannnn Avatar
28 months ago
”Similarly, changing the Calendar view must now be done in Settings”

wait what? if I want to quickly change between list and today view, I need to go back to the app drawer, find Settings, scroll down to Calendar, and pick the new view?

I hope I’m wrong?
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sirious Avatar
28 months ago
This is the worst news I have heard all day. Force touch makes soooooooo much sense on the Watch.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
otternonsense Avatar
28 months ago
Hey Apple, please stop killing useful features!
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alpi123 Avatar
28 months ago
Why are they trying to get rid of 3D Touch... it's actually one of the few innovative features Apple offered that others didn't and for 1-2 years we saw it was very useful.

Maybe for them it feels too much like a real button and that's why they shy away from it.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrLoL Avatar
28 months ago
I'm truly annoyed by that. It's not like 3D touch where you didn't even know it existed, it's essential to the platform to edit watch faces, clear all, open menus... and it's there since Series 0! They're basically scrapping the hardware on all the watches by not even leaving the option to press harder to go faster.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
Apple Watch Series 3 v 8 1

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: 20 Major New Features and Changes for Customers Upgrading

Tuesday August 16, 2022 6:52 am PDT by
It's crazy to think about, but next month will mark five years since Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite being a severely antiquated smartwatch, the Series 3 has remained at the bottom of Apple's lineup for $199. Suppose you're still holding on to your Apple Watch Series 3. In that case, this article will list all the major new features and changes you'll get if you decide to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Planning to Hold iPhone 14 Event on September 7

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:51 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to hold its first fall event on Wednesday, September 7, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The event will focus on the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to get few changes, but the iPhone 14 Pro models will include updated camera technology, the removal of the notch in favor of a pill-shaped and hole-punch cutout, an A16...