Is 3D Touch a gimmick?
The current fierce competition in the mobile device market has made it a pretty exciting time to be a mindless consumer drone. As designers and manufacturers race to ape one another’s latest features, their users tend to benefit, regardless of the platform they’re tied to. But in the past few years, Apple’s innovation has seemingly slowed down. Being an Android user, it’s bittersweet for me. It’s always fun to gloat when the country’s most valuable company borrows a feature you’ve been using for years, but I still hold out hope for another quantum leap that will bring the whole industry forward.
That’s why I was excited about the 3D Touch feature on the new iPhones. You can tap the screen with more or less force than usual to take different actions. It’s not just technically impressive – it could enable an entirely new set of interactions with our devices. It could even be a big step toward unlocking the full potential of digital interactions hinted at in Bret Victor’s great rant on interaction design. I was really excited to try it out (and even more excited for it to inevitably trickle down to Android). But after seeing it in use, and in my short experience with it, well, it’s not really doing it for me. more