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This is how Force Touch might work on the next iPhone

This is how Force Touch might work on the next iPhone

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Apple is widely expected to bring Force Touch to the next iPhone, and now we're getting some idea of how it might work. According to 9to5Mac, Force Touch will be used as a way to access shortcuts, pull up menus, and activate new functions. If that sounds kind of confusing, well, it is — for now, at least. It sounds like Force Touch on the iPhone will do different things depending on where you use it, and you'll probably have to play around to find out where it works and what it does.

Force Touch may do a lot of different things in a lot of different places

A few specific examples are provided by 9to5Mac:

As far as shortcuts go, the next iPhone might allow you to Force Touch an app icon to have it open up to a specific screen, rather than its main menu. It might also allow you to skip through certain screens; in Maps, the report says that you may be able to Force Touch a location to immediately begin turn-by-turn navigation.

Force Touch will also be used to pull up new menus. That's kind of like what it already does on the Apple Watch, but instead of taking up the entire screen, Force Touch on the iPhone will open smaller popups; 9to5Mac says that the menus might appear beside where you pressed the screen or appear in a card at the bottom of the screen, like how the Share menu rises up on iOS. You'll reportedly be able to Force Touch on a song inside of the Music app to pull up a menu that'll let you add it to a playlist or save it for offline listening; currently, you tap an action button to access this menu.

Finally, Force Touch might enable new ways of controlling apps, like it's already doing on the MacBook. Force Touch for Mac offers more control over music and videos by letting users skip forward and backward a bit faster or slower based on how hard they press. Apple may have other interesting uses like this to reveal next month, when it's expected to introduce the next iPhone, but it could just be handing Force Touch off to developers and expecting them to figure out interesting uses for it.

Back in May, 9to5Mac reported that Force Touch would likely be designed for iPhone "power users," and its new report today seems to underscore that. This is all coming from an unconfirmed report — which may explain why the specifics come off as confusing — but it sounds like explaining where and when Force Touch can be used and what it can be used for may be difficult for Apple.