Force Touch


'Force Touch' Articles

Apple and Immersion Reach Licensing Agreement After Legal Battle Over 3D Touch and Taptic Engine

Immersion, a company that develops and licenses haptic feedback technologies, today announced it has reached a settlement and licensing agreement with Apple. The terms of the deal are confidential. Immersion describes itself as the leading innovator of haptic feedback systems, with more than 2,600 issued or pending patents. The company, headquartered in San Jose, California, says its technology has been adopted in more than three billion consumer electronic devices across several industries. Immersion had filed a pair of lawsuits against Apple in early 2016, accusing the company of infringing on its patents with its haptic feedback technologies such as 3D Touch and the Taptic Engine on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and Force Touch on the first-generation Apple Watch and various MacBook

Apple Patents Switch-Less Force Touch Keyboard, Could Lead to Thinner Macs

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a low-travel keyboard design with Force Touch-like sensors that measure the pressure placed on a key when a user presses or rests a finger on it. As summarized by AppleInsider, the exhaustive patent filing details how the keyboard would have a switch-less QWERTY input mechanism, rather than mechanical switches, allowing for less key travel and potentially thinner Mac keyboards.Apple's current MacBook and Mac accessory lineups employ modified scissor switches, or butterfly switches on the 12-inch Retina MacBook, nestled within hollow key caps. Today's patent mirrors the aesthetic of existing designs, but deviates from established technology by replacing mechanical switches for a stack of sensors, actuators and supporting circuitry. Theoretically the system operates akin to Apple's Force Touch trackpads, but on a much larger scale; one force sensor package for each keyboard key. Force sensors configured to measure downward pressure are integrated beneath the keyboard's key caps, while integrated actuators — part of the key stack — generate haptic feedback.The patent filing does not guarantee that Apple will release a Force Touch keyboard, but a pressure-sensitive keyboard is plausible alongside the Magic Trackpad and Force Touch trackpads on MacBooks. Apple's new Retina MacBook has been criticized by some over its all-new butterfly mechanism keyboard, which has low key travel, so whether Apple implements this new keyboard design into the rest of its MacBook lineup remains to be seen.

Force Touch on iPhone 6s to Make iPhone Interactions Faster With Focus on 'Shortcuts'

Rumors have all but confirmed the upcoming iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus will include Force Touch, allowing the device to distinguish between a light tap and a deeper press to enable a wide range of new gestures. Force Touch has been built into the Apple Watch and the trackpads of the Retina MacBook and the newest Retina MacBook Pros, adding a whole new dimension to the way the devices are controlled. On the Apple Watch, Force Touch is used within apps to access different settings, and on the Mac, it can do things like previewing links in Safari, and accelerating rewind/fast forward speed in iMovie. Force Touch on the iPhone will work similarly to the way that it works on the existing devices that offer Force Touch, but there are some differences, according to information an inside source shared with 9to5Mac. Force Touch on the iPhone is said to be used primarily for "shortcut actions," letting users perform tasks within apps more quickly. In Maps, for example, using Force Touch on a point of interest will cause turn-by-turn directions to start up immediately, while force pressing on a song in the Music app will bring up a menu to save it to a playlist. Force pressing on certain apps on the Home Screen could open directly to specific sections of the app.Another feature in testing, according to one source, are shortcuts that appear after Force Touching an app icon on the Home screen. For example, if a user deep presses on the Phone app icon, he could choose to shortcut directly to the Voicemail tab. This could also apply to deep pressing the News app icon and

Force Touch Panels Enter Mass Production Ahead of 'iPhone 6s' Launch

As the launch of the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" inches closer, suppliers have begun shipping Force Touch panels for the next-generation smartphones, according to DigiTimes. The report claims that Apple's supply chain partners started shipping Force Touch panels in limited quantities in June before ramping up production of the pressure-sensitive modules in July. Taipei Times vaguely reported that Apple's touch panel supplier TPK expects widespread adoption of pressure sensors, presumably for Force Touch, later this year. Force Touch, an existing Apple Watch and MacBook feature, is a pressure-sensitive technology that will enable future iPhones to distinguish between a light tap and deep press and complete different actions accordingly. Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past. Apple has also announced new iPhones in September or October since the iPhone 4s, so suppliers ramping up Force Touch production is to be expected with less than two months to go. The "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" are rumored to feature the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes, an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, a faster Qualcomm LTE chip, an improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and 7000 Series aluminum. The overall design of the smartphones will likely be nearly identical to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6

Apple to Order Record-Breaking 85-90 Million Force Touch-Equipped 'iPhone 6s' Models

Apple is asking suppliers to assemble a record-breaking 85 to 90 million units of its next-generation iPhone models combined by year-end, according to The Wall Street Journal. That order tops the reported 70 to 80 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units that Apple ordered during its initial production run last year. The report reiterates rumors that the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will feature both Force Touch, which can distinguish between a light tap and deep press, and a new color option, likely rose gold or pink. Foxconn and Pegatron are expected to be the main suppliers of the next-generation iPhones, while Apple may elect to use a third assembler Wistron to help fulfill the record-breaking number of orders. The next-generation iPhones will reportedly enter mass-production starting next month and are expected to retain the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes and current display resolutions. The "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" are widely expected to be announced in September with a focus on non-cosmetic improvements such as an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, faster Qualcomm LTE chip and improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Force Touch Now Planned for Both 'iPhone 6s' Display Sizes

A new report out of Apple's supply chain in Taiwan today claims that the next generation of iPhones - tentatively designated as the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" - will both receive a version of Force Touch this year, according to Economic Daily News (via GforGames). The supply chain source claimed to confirm that previous rumors regarding Force Touch's exclusivity on the iPhone 6s Plus were in fact true, for a time, before Apple scrapped the plan and decided to move forward with installing the haptic feedback technology on both 6s models this year. Taiwanese manufacturing and R&D company TPK is still reportedly taking on the task of providing Force Touch sensors for the new iPhones. Force Touch has been rumored as a standout feature on the new iPhone models a few times throughout the first half of 2015, leading into the first public interaction with the technology first when the new 12-inch Retina MacBook launched and then when the Apple Watch began shipping late in April. Just this week, a new report suggested that iOS 9 was created "to be Force Touch-ready," with Apple building the tools to create developer interest in using the technology within their apps. Given that the haptic feedback interaction allows a new form of communication with Apple's devices, the introduction of Force Touch into the iPhone ecosystem could bring about a big overhaul of iOS if it in fact turns out to be the expected middle-of-the-road "s" upgrade this year. Rumors about the new iPhones have begun piling up as the year moves forward, with most agreeing the device will have an

Next A9-Based iPhone Predicted to Have 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, Rose Gold and More, Mass Production in August

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, issued a note to investors today that offers eleven predictions for the next-generation iPhone in 2015. Kuo expects the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones to enter mass production in mid-to-late August, and does not believe that a new 4-inch iPhone model will be released in 2015. The main selling point of the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will be Force Touch, the pressure-sensitive display technology built into Apple Watch and new MacBook trackpads. Other predicted features for Apple's next iPhone, many of which have already been rumored, include an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, improved 12-megapixel camera, a new Rose Gold color option, possible sapphire cover lenses and more.(1) Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market; (2) Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model; (3) There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition; (4) The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP; (5) One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality; (6) The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted; (7) The bending issue will be improved by using different

12.9-Inch 'iPad Pro' Rumored to Feature NFC, Bluetooth Stylus, Force Touch and USB-C

The much-rumored 12.9-inch so-called "iPad Pro" will feature a built-in NFC chip, pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch and USB-C port, according to AppleInsider. The report, citing a source familiar with Apple's future product plans, also claims that the larger iPad will have a new touchscreen with improved latency and unsurprisingly be powered by Apple's latest A-series processor. A purported "iPad Pro" blueprint from December 2014 with possible dimensions The inclusion of an NFC chip will enable the iPad Pro to be used as an Apple Pay payment terminal, although it is unlikely the tablet itself will have tap-to-pay functionality, according to the report. Apple Pay contactless payments are currently limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 5, iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s when paired with an Apple Watch, in the United States. Meanwhile, the report corroborates well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's claim that the iPad Pro will feature an Apple-built stylus, which AppleInsider says will connect via Bluetooth and allow pressure-sensitive input. The iPad Pro's display will also reportedly feature Force Touch, a technology that distinguishes between a tap and a deep press on the screen. The report adds that the iPad Pro's USB-C port will either replace or supplement the Lightning connector equipped on other current iPads:"The source also said that Apple's new, larger iPad will also feature a USB-C input, though they didn't indicate whether it would be a new, second port option, or if USB-C would replace the Lightning connector found on

iPhone's Force Touch Tech May Track Contact Area Instead of Pressure, New 4" Model Unlikely in 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming plans, issued a note to investors on Thursday that claims the next-generation iPhone will have a FPC-made capacitive Force Touch sensor under the backlight, laminated with metal shielding. Kuo adds that the change may be significant enough for Apple to call its next iPhone the "iPhone 7" instead of the so-called "iPhone 6s." The analyst claims that the hardware design of Force Touch will be different than the technology used in the Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook. Instead of directly detecting the pressure applied by fingers, the new improved Force Touch hardware will monitor the contact area where a finger presses to determine how much pressure is being applied. The sensor will use capacitive technology and thin FPC material to save space."We believe that iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers. Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is. There are two possible structural designs for Force Touch from a technology viewpoint. The Force Touch sensor can either be placed between the cover lens and the In-cell touch panel or under the In-cell touch panel’s backlight. In the first position, the technological challenge lies with how to produce the transparent Force Touch sensor; in the second position, the challenge is how to reduce signal interference from in-cell touch panel. Our understanding of the technology is that producing a transparent

Force Touch Could Be Exclusive to 'iPhone 6s Plus'

Apple's pressure-sensing Force Touch technology could be exclusive to the so-called "iPhone 6s Plus," according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via GforGames). The report, which claims Taiwanese manufacturer TPK will be responsible for supplying Apple with the Force Touch sensors, makes no mention of the "iPhone 6s," leading to speculation that the technology could be reserved for the larger iPhone 6s Plus. It has been reported that Apple will include Force Touch technology on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus on at least three occasions since the beginning of this year. TechNews Taiwan reported that the iPhone 6s will gain Force Touch and 2GB of RAM in January, while AppleInsider reported in March that Apple's next-generation iPhones will feature Force Touch, but lack a previously rumored dual-lens camera system. The Wall Street Journal corroborated both reports later in March, claiming that Apple will introduce Force Touch and is considering a new pink color option for its next-generation iPhones. Currently built into the upcoming Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook, Force Touch lets devices distinguish between a light tap and a hard press, enabling new gestures that yield different actions depending on how much pressure is applied. While this latest report should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt, making Force Touch exclusive to the iPhone 6s Plus would not be an unprecedented move. Apple limited optical image stabilization (OIS) to the iPhone 6 Plus, and the larger smartphone also features a landscape mode. The higher cost of Force Touch sensors

Third-Party Mac Developers Begin Embracing Force Touch, Led by 'Inklet'

Following its March 9 media event where it introduced "Force Touch" trackpad technology for the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and upcoming 12-inch MacBook, Apple opened up the feature to third-party developers by delivering developer APIs starting with the third beta of OS X 10.10.3. The APIs will allow developers to support the ability of Force Touch trackpads to sense multiple levels of pressure and perform different actions depending on how hard the trackpad is being pressed. Apple has already taken steps to build Force Touch support into its own apps, as outlined in a support document. At the simplest level, the new Force Touch trackpads support a new "Force click" functionality, which allows a user to click on an item and then press a bit harder to activate a secondary function such as pulling up Dictionary or Wikipedia entires on selected text in Mail or Safari, a map preview when selecting an address, or Quick Look previews of files when selecting icons. Beyond the single-level Force click, the new Force Touch trackpad also supports more advanced features through sensing multiple levels of pressure, allowing users to accelerate zooming in and out of maps or vary the speed of fast forward and rewind in QuickTime and iMovie. iMovie also supports "bumpy pixels" in which the trackpad gives subtle vibrational feedback during the editing process to let the user know when the end of a dragged clip has been reached or when cropped clips are in proper alignment. While Force Touch is currently limited to the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the feature looks set to

Apple's 'Force Touch' Trackpad Fools Users Into Feeling Clicks Without Actually Moving

At its "Spring Forward" event on Monday, Apple announced a brand-new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pros with a fully redesigned trackpad called the Force Touch trackpad. Like on the Apple Watch, Force Touch allows the device to distinguish between a light press and a deep press, opening up new methods for interaction. For example, while a light press could be a simple click, a deep press while browsing in Safari could bring up a Wikipedia entry in a pop-up window. The Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook and new MacBook Pros achieves this through a total reinvention of the way the trackpad works. Apple ditched the "diving board" structure of older trackpads for a new design with four sensors, called Force Sensors. These Force Sensors allow the user to click anywhere on the Force Touch trackpad. The "diving board" design on previous trackpads made it difficult to click toward the top of the trackpad, forcing users to move their fingers toward the bottom of the trackpad to click. The Force Sensors are bundled together with the Taptic Engine, which is also featured in the upcoming Apple Watch. The Taptic Engine senses when a user clicks on the trackpad and issues haptic feedback to let a user know that their action was successful. As noted by TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, this is because the trackpad itself doesn't move. While the Force Touch trackpad sounds like it clicks and feels like it clicks, it doesn't actually click.There is a set of vibrating motors underneath that provides ‘force feedback’, also known as haptics in some applications. This

Apple to Add Force Touch and Pink Color Option to Next iPhones, Screen Size to Stay the Same

Apple will add pressure-sensing Force Touch technology to its next-generation iPhones, reports The Wall Street Journal in an article that covers a range of new details on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Currently built into the upcoming Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook, Force Touch lets devices distinguish between a light tap and a hard press, enabling new gestures. According to the report, which is sourced from Apple suppliers, Apple's next-generation iPhones will continue to be available in 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen sizes, with plans to "keep the resolution similar." New colors are a possibility though, and Apple is said to be considering adding a pink option to its existing space gray, silver, and gold iPhone lineup. Production may begin on components for the next-generation iPhones as early as May, but The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple often tests technologies and designs with various suppliers that may not make it into finalized products. Today's report echoes several other reports that have also pointed towards Force Touch for the next-generation iPhone. Supply chain sources first hinted at Force Touch technology back in January, and those rumors seem more plausible now that the feature has been incorporated into both the Apple Watch and Apple's recently announced MacBook. Beyond the Force Touch rumors, little is known about the next-generation iPhones, which will likely be called the "iPhone 6s" and the "iPhone 6s Plus." The devices are expected to receive upgraded A9 processors and have been rumored to include features like camera

Next-Generation iPhones Said to Feature Force Touch, Lack Dual-Lens Camera System

The so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will reportedly adopt Force Touch, a feature that debuted on the Apple Watch in September, according to sources for AppleInsider. The next-generation iPhones are expected to retain the same physical design as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. The report adds that the return of a 4-inch model appears unlikely for this refresh. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes to distinguish between a light tap or deep press on the screen, prompting the software to perform a different action depending on how much pressure is exerted on the display. Apple would likely have to use a flexible OLED display on a future iPhone model in order for Force Touch to be possible on the smartphone. Apple calls Force Touch its most significant new sensing capability since Multi-Touch on its Apple Watch microsite."In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls — such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that allows you to select different watch faces — whenever you want. It’s the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch."Apple reportedly experimented with adding Force Touch to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year, although calibration issues resulted in removal of the feature prior to the smartphones being released. The issues appear to have been

iPhone 6s Rumored to Include 2GB of Faster RAM and 'Force Touch' Technology

Apple may boost the amount of internal RAM and use faster LPDDR4 RAM technology in its next-generation iPhone 6s, claims TechNews Taiwan (via G Gor Games). These RAM modules offer low power consumption and a significant performance increase over the 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM used in the current-generation iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. According to supply chain sources, the LPDDR4 RAM modules for the iPhone 6s will be supplied primarily by Hynix, Samsung, and Micron-Elpida. Elpida reportedly was behind schedule, but the company allegedly improved its manufacturing process to a level that will meet Apple's demand. Micron-Elpida and Hynix were identified in iFixit teardown analyses as the RAM suppliers for Apple's current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. Apple's next-generation iPhone also is rumored to sport the same design as the iPhone 6 with internal improvements such as an A9 processor and a dual-lens DSLR quality camera. Today's report also hints at the adoption of "Force Touch" technology as seen on the Apple Watch to differentiate between quick taps and more forceful presses. It is not clear, however, how Apple would implement such a system on the iPhone as it would appear to require a major shift in display technology for the device given that the Apple Watch uses a flexible OLED display paired with electrode sensors to support the Force Touch feature.