The iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max come with 3D Touch, an interaction technology that makes multitouch multidimensional. 3D Touch offers Home screen actions, peek and pop shortcuts, and pressure sensitivity. Apps can adopt one or all of those. While Apple has enabled it in many of the company's own apps, they've also provided a way for App Store apps to enable 3D Touch as well.
- Voice Dream Writer
- Scanner Pro
- Day One
- Fantastical 2
- And more!
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Instagram, the social photo-sharing network now owned by Facebook, is turning 5 this week. It's also seriously upping its game with 3D Touch support for Home screen actions like New Post, View Activity, Search, and Direct. In the Instagram app, you can 3D Touch a name to see their account card and swipe up to get Unfollow, Turn on Post Notifications, and Send Message options. You can also 3D Touch on a photo in grid view to preview it, and swipe up to get Like, Comment, and Send Message.
The world's most popular collection network, Pinterest, has added 3D Touch support for Home screen actions. Now, with the press of a finger, you can launch straight into trending, search pins, and create a board. Once inside a board, you can also 3D Touch to peek at items and pin, link, and send items. Those options aren't implemented in the standard 3D Touch quick action way—they show up in a custom radial menu right where your finger is. Similar to how instant sending in Messages works, all you have to do is slide and you're on your way.
Dropbox, the most popular non-Apple storage provider on iOS, has added 3D Touch for both Home screen actions and peek and pop. Actions include the most recent file update, offline files, upload photo, and search. In the Dropbox app, you can peek at media files like photos and music, and swipe up to get options like send link, make available offline, rename, move, and delete. It makes Dropbox much faster and more convenient to use.
Yes, iMovie is an Apple app and it's even coming pre-installed on larger-capacity iPhones6s, but it's still got the beginning of a really solid 3D Touch implementation. Home screen actions include new movie and your last three movie projects. Inside the iMovie app, you can peek at a movie project and watch it play before opening it, to make sure you've found the right one. It's super handy once the number of projects starts adding up. Unfortunately, there's no pressure-sensitive fast forward or rewind yet, but that feels like something Apple needs to add to the media player in general...
Voice Dream Writer
When Apple launched 3D Touch they launched it with VoiceOver, their screen reader technology for the blind and visually impaired. Voice Dream Writer, which reads the written word in an attempt to help everyone produce better work, returns the favor by implementing 3D Touch in a variety of thoughtful ways. Home screen actions include new documents and new from Clipboard. You can also peek at your files to make sure you have the right one before opening it. What's more, you can press on the fast forward button to increase the speed of the screen reader. It's incredibly cool!
One of our favorite calculator apps is embracing 3D Touch in a couple of clever ways. You get Home screen actions, of course, but you also get to configure them in settings so they're exactly the way you want them. You can include any four of new calculation, paste clipboard, last conversion, use your choice of layout, convert your choice of measures, last function, last memory, last result, last y register, open constants, open conversions, open functions, open tape, and run your choice of function. There are multiple-choice options as well, so you can have multiple layouts or conversions, for example. You can also peek at the tape, registers, or RPN stack. It's a seriously cool way to calculate. (The free version doesn't include the settings or peek, but you can unlock them via in-app purchase... or just get the full version and enjoy!)
Like Automator on Mac, Shortcuts on iPhone lets you make routine tasks into repeatable magic. With 3D Touch, you can use Home screen actions to launch right into your most important workflows. In the Shortcuts app, you can peek at your 'flows to remind yourself what's in them or make sure you're choosing the right one. You can also swipe up to get options like rename, duplicate, delete, and share. It's automation accelerated.
OpenTable not only enjoys Siri and Maps access on the iPhone but also includes 3D Touch. Home screen actions let you launch right into your favorites or access upcoming reservations. With peek you can take a closer look at a joint before making a reservation and, if you don't like it, you can move on without first having to move back. It's super convenient. There are also preview actions for the next available reservation times, which is beyond super convenient.
The original square photo filter app, Hipstamatic is as hip as ever, thanks to 3D Touch. With Home screen actions you can shoot food, shoot sunset, shoot portrait, or edit your last photo. Yeah, it's like that. Once you launch the Hipstamatic app, you can also peek at any photo to make sure you select the right one and get quick actions for mark favorite, duplicate and edit, share, and trash.
With the 12 megapixel iPhone camera, you can "scan" documents with better clarity than ever. With Scanner Pro, you can use Home screen actions to initiate a new scan or scan from an existing photo. Within the Scanner Pro app, you can preview scans so you can make sure you're always selecting the right one, and you can swipe up to get additional options like edit, retake, share, and delete.
The developer, Readdle, has also added Home screen actions and peek to their file browser, Documents 5:
And to their Spark email app:
And to PDF Expert:
Everyone's favorite cross-platform note-taker has added 3D Touch to make note-taking even more convenient. You get Home screen actions like new note, take photo, and set reminder. In the Evernote app, you can peek at notes and work chats, and swipe up for options including add to shortcuts, set reminder, and share.
If you're a Reddit fan, then Apollo is the app to have. It fully implements 3D Touch features, so you can jump to your favorite subreddits from the Home Screen. You can also utilize 3D Touch in the app itself to get a peek at media in posts, comments, and more. Apollo is a sleek app for browsing all of Reddit, and it's one of our favorite apps.
Scanbot is another great document scanner for your iOS device. But it does more than simply scan documents, because you can use it as a QR code scanner, search for existing scans, and more. The 3D Touch lets you quickly scan single or multi-page documents, QR codes, or search, right from the Home Screen.
When it comes to journaling, you can't really beat Day One. With 3D Touch, you're able to take a look back on the past with the "On This Day" feature or start a new text entry, add a photo, record audio, and check recent activity right from the Home Screen. Using 3D Touch in the app lets you take quick peeks at existing entries and media, giving you the option to share, favorite, or even open in the map to see where you've been.
While the default Camera app is usually great for quick snapshots, sometimes you want a bit more. Halide is a fantastic manual camera app option, and it has some nifty 3D Touch features to make life easy! With 3D Touch on the Home Screen, you can quickly launch the app in Auto or Manual mode, take a selfie, or jump directly into Depth (Portrait) Mode.
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If you need a great calendar app that makes it easy to input new events and reminders, Fantastical 2 gets the job done. 3D Touch support allows you to add new events and show reminders right from the Home Screen. You can also take a peek at what your schedule is going to be like for today. Using 3D Touch inside the app means you can take peeks at upcoming events and jump inside to make edits, duplicate an event, move it, share it, or delete it if needed.
When it comes to safely managing and generating secure passwords, it's hard to beat 1Password. The 3D Touch support for 1Password allows you to add a new item, check favorites, or search for items right from the Home Screen. You can also 3D Touch items in the app to get a quick peek at the info before fully expanding it if necessary. It's the quickest and most secure way to access your important passwords!
We've highlight apps that implement multiple types of 3D Touch but there are many other apps that have done a great job with just Home screen actions or pressure sensitivity as well:
- Launch Center Pro: Configurable Home screen actions to launch your favorite LCP actions.
- Camera+: Home screen actions for photo, selfie, macro, and lightbox.
- Twitter: Home screen quick actions.
- Endless Alphabet: Pressure sensitivity to make them letters DANCE!
- Magic Piano: The harder you press, the more power you put behind the note you play.
- Omni apps: Home screen actions for OmniFocus, OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, and OmniPlan.
- Things: Home screen actions for getting things done.
- Apple Store: Home screen actions for shop, stores, and orders.
- Shazam: Home screen actions for Shazam now and visual Shazam.
If you've got any 3D Touch favorites I missed, let me know in the comments!
July 2019: These are the best apps with 3D Touch support!
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.