How to quickly change iOS Settings with 3D Touch

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3d touch settings shot
Get quick access to the settings you change the most.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Perhaps the best way to ease yourself into the relaxing, time-saving bathtub of increased productivity that is 3D Touch is to start by pressing a little harder on Apple’s own app icons. Specifically — in today’s article at least — the Settings app icon, where you will find quick-access shortcuts to your most often-used settings. Let’s take a look:

This really is a short tip, because it’s so easy. But that’s what makes it a) so useful and b) such a great way to begin using 3D Touch. Even when you know it’s there, 3D Touch won’t become a habit until you really start using it, so you should probably start now.

Change System Settings with 3D Touch

It doesn't get much easier than this when it comes to tweaking your most-used settings.
It doesn’t get much easier than this when it comes to tweaking your most-used settings.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you 3D Touch the Settings icon on your iPhone, a box pops up with shortcuts for Bluetooth, Wifi, Mobile Data, and Battery. Tapping any of these takes you to the relevant screen in the Settings app, whereupon you can change settings, or view information like how much data you have gotten through this month.

It’s a simple tip, but as I said, it’s perfect for getting you started using 3D Touch. One does wonder, though, if the Bluetooth, WiFi and other toggles in the Command Center mightn’t also be a good spot for 3D Touch, as that’s where most people go to access these things.

Outro

3D Touch really might be the best new iPhone feature in recent years, in terms of general use at least. It’s not about saving time, because really, how long does it take to open an an app and tap a few icons anyway? It’s about decreasing friction, and making things simpler, and about tasking the most-used parts of an app and exposing them. That may mean quickly marking your location without opening the Maps app, or opening the camera direct to the selfie mode. And curiously, for a platform as app-centric as iOS, it’s about making the experience more about what the phone can do, and less about the apps that do those things.

Unfortunately, many people have already given up on trying it. Our own Luke Dormehl told me in Slack that “3D Touch is such an annoyingly clumsy feature.” That’s a shame, because once you get into the habit, 3D Touch really is amazing.