At its fall event today, Apple announced that it's adding something called 3D Touch technology to its new iPhones, meaning the screen can sense multiple levels of pressure. The feature first appeared in simpler form on the Apple Watch as "Force Touch," where it can be used to clear all notifications with a single press. In the iPhone, a system measures the distance between the glass and the backlight to detect how hard the user is pressing.
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The addition of 3D Touch has been widely expected, having been rumored in recent days and weeks, and it's a pretty obvious one — it could mean big things for iPhone gaming, for instance. New gestures called "Peek" and "Pop" let you call up contextual menus on home screen icons, letting you go directly to features in apps that you use most; inside apps, Peek can preview information, while Pop can take you into it. It sounds like developers will have some runway to decide exactly how these light and hard presses are integrated into their UIs. On stage, Apple's Craig Federighi demoed 3D Touch with the Mail app — a light touch to preview an email, a harder touch to go into it. Third-party apps are already on board: WeChat, Instagram, and Facebook were mentioned among stage.
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Apple Event: iPhone 3D Touch demo