Should Apple Ditch 3D Touch?

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3D Touch is one of many features present in the iPhone lineup, but it might be one that might not be sticking around for too much longer, if rumors are any indicator.

This week started with a bit of a bang, as far as the rumor mill is concerned. Courtesy of Barclays analysts, citing information they ascertained while talking with supply chain sources, we heard that Apple may be moving away from 3D Touch. The report says that it’s “widely understood” on the supply chain that Apple is leaving the technology behind.

But! The report also stated that the plans are “not finalized”, so things could change! (Or not change at all, because we don’t really know what Apple is planning.)

After that report came out yesterday, my immediate thought was I wouldn’t miss 3D Touch at all, mostly because I don’t think about the feature all that much. If ever, actually. I don’t think it necessarily gets in the way or anything like that, which is definitely a complaint I’ve seen over the years. But it’s also something that I’ve just let sink into the background.

Which is actually why, this morning, I realized that I might miss it quite a bit after all. Because while 3D Touch may be a “power user” feature in some people’s eyes, I think it’s something that just kind of worms its way into general usage, but maybe in only some specific use cases. Is it as widespread as multitouch in general? No. Is it as grandiose a feature as Apple wanted it to be? Probably not. But I do think that, if you use it at all, it’s probably in a variety of subtle ways that just kind of feel natural these days.

In my case, I use 3D Touch just like that. A bunch of little ways. I don’t use it on app icons all that often, but that’s because the widgets I do use for apps I have on the dedicated panel for widgets. Plus, those are just more helpful in general because you can make them bigger and get more information. And I think it’s mostly just muscle memory at this point for using some apps, because technically speaking 3D Touch should make using apps a bit faster, because it allows you to directly jump into an action, rather than opening the app and then finding what you want to do. But that’s exactly what I do for most apps, open and wait.

I use 3D Touch inside apps, though. Whether it’s in an app like Tweetbot (because I’m sticking with third-party Twitter apps for as long as I can, thank you very much, Twitter) where I can hard press on a link or an image to get a glimpse of what I’d be tapping through. Quickly sharing content is pretty easy with 3D Touch, too, which is probably one of the primary reasons I use the feature at all.

3D Touch has just become something I use every day, whether I’m thinking about it or not. Which means, eventually, Apple’s expectation for the feature was pretty spot on when it comes to my daily use case. But does that mean I wouldn’t be able to adapt to something else if 3D Touch did get the axe? Of course not. I adapted to 3D Touch in the first place, as I’m sure so many of you out there have, too.

Do I think 3D Touch will see its final sunset in 2019? I guess it’s perfectly possible. Think back to January of this year, when we heard that Apple was delaying some planned features in iOS 12 to put a bigger focus on performance and stability. Part of that report indicated Apple is planning for a “redesigned home screen”. If that is indeed still the case, then maybe Apple is planning on dropping 3D Touch in 2019 after all, because it has figured out something else to replace the feature.

Still, I’m not entirely sold on the rumor just yet. What do you think? Do you believe it’s a sign that Apple has yet to bring the feature to the iPad Pro lineup? Would you miss 3D Touch if it got the axe?