Android 3D Touch clone gets put on hold

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Google is in no rush to support pressure-sensitive screens.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Android users will have to wait for Google’s native 3D Touch clone.

Sources familiar with plans for the upcoming Android N upgrade say support for pressure-sensitive displays won’t be available at launch.

I still think 3D Touch is incredible, and I use it all the time. However, I know a lot of iPhone 6s users who don’t use it, and still believe it’s little more than a gimmick. Apple’s rivals are hardly scrambling to copy it, either.

Google’s second Android N preview, which was rolled out to developers in mid-April, has native support for pressure-sensitive displays built-in — and we all assumed it would still be there when the software makes its public debut this fall.

Now sources are telling Recode that “the feature will not be part of the initial Android N release and will have to wait for a later release of the operating system.”

By adding support for 3D Touch-like screens to stock Android, Google will almost certainly encourage more smartphone makers to adopt them. So far, only a small few have. Not even Samsung, which tends to follow Apple’s big moves, has shown any interest in them.

This is likely the reason why support isn’t a priority for Google right now. But that doesn’t mean the company won’t announce it at Google I/O next week when it shows off Android N, and all the other new features and improvements it brings.