Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just what’s going to wow us about this upgrade. It turns out that so far, there’s a ton of untapped potential. [Editor's Note: I see what you did there...]
You see, the iPhone 6s’ potentially coolest feature is 3D Touch. Sensing how much pressure you apply to your iPhone’s screen could, in theory, revolutionize things in a way that we haven’t seen since the advent of touch screens. It’s distinctly early days, though.
This is particularly evident when you bear in mind there’s only really one game with 3D Touch support at the moment. That happens to be AG Drive which kind of makes sense for a game that embraces the future quite so readily. Playing a lot like WipeOut, 3D Touch does make quite a difference.
I found that by pressing down a little harder I could accelerate faster, as well as brake more quickly. It’s not as awe-inspiring as you’d hope, being more of a subtle tweak than anything right now, but it’s a great insight into what could happen next in gaming. It’s freshened up an experience that I thought I’d had my fill of.
Various apps are gradually embracing 3D Touch’s "Peek and Pop" - Apple’s term for being able to preview content by holding down on a link or button. For instance, doing this to Dropbox’s icon allows you to perform various quick actions, while Instagram lets you see thumbnail previews. It is a little tetchy though, so expect to change your settings so that 3D Touch recognises ‘light’ touches, otherwise it might not work correctly for you.
Stock Apps allow you to do things like preview messages or website links, saving you valuable time and being all-around a little cooler than before.
None of this is a game changer. Yet. But I can see it going that way. Imagine an Angry Birds game where how hard you press down on the reticule affects how violently the bird is thrown? Or an FPS game’s machine gun firing more rapidly because of how hard you "squeeze" the trigger.
The potential is pretty cool, and while for now it might seem gimmicky, it could make all the difference in making our games feel more tactile. That’s got to be a good thing, right?