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.

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 For example, the Force Touch gesture for the app layout Grid/List View has been replaced by a menu option in the Settings app.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 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 weeks 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)
Avatar
14 weeks 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)
Avatar
14 weeks 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)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
Hey Apple, please stop killing useful features!
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks 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)
Avatar
14 weeks 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)

Top Stories

'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...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

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. ...

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...

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,...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7 With Fixes for WiFi Bug, 27-Inch iMac Graphics Issues

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:32 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, the latest update to the macOS Catalina software. macOS Catalina 10.15.7 fixes several major bugs that Mac users have been experiencing, and it comes a month after the latest macOS Catalina release. The ‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

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, ...