watchOS 7 Removes Force Touch Support From Your Apple Watch, Here's Everything That's Changed

With the release of watchOS 7, Apple has added several new features to compatible Apple Watch models, such as new watch faces and sleep tracking, but it also drops support for the Force Touch gesture that some users may have come to think of as a second nature interaction on their wrist.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

When users firmly pressed their Apple Watch screen, Force Touch technology would sense the extra pressure exertion and display additional content and controls depending on the context. But in watchOS 7, Apple has removed all Force Touch interactions from the UI, making the Force Touch sensor gasket in Apple Watch Series 5 and earlier models effectively superfluous.


Below, we've collected 10 new functions in ‌watchOS 7‌ that replace our favorite Force Touch features on Apple's digital timepiece. Some are more well known than others, but hopefully you'll learn at least one thing about what a firm press on your Apple Watch screen used to do, and what you need to do now that it's gone.

1. Clear All Notifications

The Apple Watch's notifications dropdown can get busy pretty fast, especially if you often forget to dismiss an incoming alert after reading it. Rather than deleting notifications one by one, a Force Touch gesture let you clear them all with a tap.

notifications
Now you have to swipe down to scroll to the top of your notifications and then tap the Clear All button.

2. Create and Remove Watch Faces

To create a custom watch face with a background picture, you still open the Apple Watch Photos app and select a photo.

watch face
Instead of pressing firmly on the display like you used to, tap the Create Watch Face icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen instead, and then select Kaleidoscope or ‌Photos‌.

3. Compose a New Message

On opening the Mail and Messages apps, you used to be able to reveal the option to compose a new message with a Force Touch gesture.

messages
Now that's gone, you need to swipe down to reveal the New Message button at the top of your messages list.

4. Change Move Goal and Get a Weekly Activity Summary

Using Force Touch on the Activity app's main screen used to reveal a Weekly Summary showing how many times you've beaten your daily move goal so far this week. Pressing down on this screen again revealed a Change Move Goal button to adjust the amount of calories you're aiming to burn.

activity
Both of these options have been replaced by individual buttons that you'll find right at the bottom of the Activity app's main screen, below today's activity stats.

5. Share Your Location With a Contact

When viewing a message in the Messages app, using Force Touch allowed you to quickly share your location with the message sender or view more details about the contact.

messages
These options can now be found at the very bottom of the message screen, directly below the Instant Replies.

6. Switch Between App Grid View and List View

Force Touch in the App View would switch between the default honeycomb-style Grid layout and the alternative List View.

settings
In ‌watchOS 7‌, you can find both options in the Settings app under App View.

7. Hourly Temperature Forecast and Chance of Rain

The standard forecast display on the Apple Watch's stock Weather app shows the general weather conditions for the day ahead. Prior to ‌watchOS 7‌, using Force Touch in the app displayed buttons for switching between weather conditions, chance of rain, and temperature.

weather
Fortunately, you can still access these views just as easily by tapping the 12-hour forecast to cycle through them.

8. Control Camera Settings Remotely

With the Apple Watch Camera app open, Force Touch would reveal a hidden submenu offering access to your iPhone's HDR, Flash, Live Photo, and Flip controls.

camera
In ‌watchOS 7‌, all of these controls are accessed by tapping the three dots in the bottom-right of the screen, which reveal a vertical scrolling menu.

9. Switch Calendar View

Prior to ‌watchOS 7‌, changing view options within the Calendar app could be done using Force Touch.

calendar
These options are now found in the Settings app under Calendar -> View Options.

10. Switch and Edit Watch Faces

Out of all the changes following the removal of Force Touch, this is almost certainly the least abrasive, and involves an almost identical gesture.

watch face
To switch between watch faces or customize the currently selected one, simply long press on the watch screen to invoke the watch face selector.

Final Thoughts

Force Touch was one of those Apple Watch features that was so discreet and unassuming that this arguably worked against it in the long run. Apple hasn't said why it removed the firm-press gesture in ‌watchOS 7‌, but it could be that not enough users were aware of it for it to be genuinely useful.

That's a shame, because just like 3D Touch on ‌iPhone‌, Apple implemented the haptic feedback technology across the entire watchOS interface, putting additional functionality right at your fingertips. Of course, ‌3D Touch‌ went the same way as Force Touch on Apple Watch when the iPhone XR was launched, which some would argue suffered from the same lack of discoverability.

The ‌iPhone XR‌ introduced ‌Haptic Touch‌ to replace ‌‌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.

Will you miss Force Touch after updating your Apple Watch to ‌watchOS 7‌? Are there any other Force Touch gestures we missed? 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
5 weeks ago
Yay for removing a feature I use all the time...
Score: 80 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Force Touch / 3D Touch was one of the cooler subtle features Apple introduced that made devices more enjoyable to use, and it was unique to Apple devices. I wonder why Apple felt the need to get rid of it? I still miss it when using my phone; tapping and holding just doesn't feel as cool and interactive as pushing harder.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Why would anyone accept a vendor disabling a hardware-based feature that was working perfectly fine previously? There’s no reason previous models could not support both a long press and the new options. Not really impressed with apple on this one.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
I loved Force Touch -- it was an ideal way to interact with the Watch and I used it all the time. The new way so far seems cluttered and less intuitive.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
They really made me not want to buy this model. And I’m in the market for a new Apple watch...
- no force touch
- no major upgrades
- no redesign (same style as previous 2 cycles)
- no pure black stainless steel (?!!??)

Seriously Apple what is wrong with you guys.

Complacency I think.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
RIP Force Touch, you’ll be missed ?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....

Apple Event to Unveil First Apple Silicon Macs Could Happen on November 17

Friday October 16, 2020 2:24 am PDT by
Apple will hold another digital event on November 17 to announce its first Apple Silicon powered Macs, according to frequent leaker Jon Prosser. Apple has already said that this year it intends to introduce the first Mac powered by an Apple Silicon chip instead of an Intel processor. One thing it hasn't revealed is the date it will be announced. According to Prosser's source, that date is No...

Apple Online Store Down Ahead of iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Pre-Orders

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:15 pm PDT by
Apple's online store is down ahead of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders, which are set to begin at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States. "You're... early," reads the Apple Store message when attempting to visit the U.S. website. "Pre-order begins at 5:00 a.m. PDT. Enjoy the extra sleep." Apple used to do new device pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but since last year, has...

When You Can Pre-Order the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Every Time Zone

Thursday October 15, 2020 10:55 am PDT by
Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are set to kick off on Friday, October 16 at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, which is a new launch time that Apple adopted as of last year. Apple is planning to make the new devices available in multiple countries around the world simultaneously, so we've made a guide to let MacRumors readers know when pre-orders will in their country. Pre-orders...