How to use 3D Touch menus in iPadOS

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3D Touch shortcuts now work on the iPad.
3D Touch shortcuts now work on the iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The rumors about the demise of 3D Touch continue. Even so, Apple already resurrected 3D Touch in the form of Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR, and now it’s arrived on the iPad, in the form of a medium-long press.

In the new iPad version of iOS, you can long-ish press on an app icon, and it will pop up the same 3D Touch menu as you would find on an iPhone. In fact, most apps that have iPhone versions already work, even in the very first iPadOS beta. Let’s see how it looks.

3D Touch on iPad, no pressure

3D Touch is great, although Apple never really pushed1 it. It should have always just been a faster version of a long press. Peek and Pop are more of an annoyance than a help, getting in the way of other long-press functions. Now, with 3D Touch’s functionality also available on iPad, perhaps it will finally be popularized and exploited. (One note: This behavior kind of works on iOS 12. Some apps will show a list of recent files when you long-ish press the icon, but it never really worked well.)

Anyhow, on to the screenshots.

Infuse lets you start playing a show right from its Home screen icon.
Infuse lets you start playing a show right from its Home screen icon.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Search for apps without first opening the App Store.
Search for apps without first opening the App Store.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Fantastical's 3D Touch options, on the iPad.
Fantastical’s 3D Touch options, on the iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Hyperspektiv is an iPhone-only app.
Hyperspektiv is an iPhone-only app.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Blocs Wave gets totally random.
Blocs Wave gets totally random.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Quickly create a new song in GarageBand using 3D Touch iPad functionality.
Quickly create a new song in GarageBand.
Photo: Cult of Mac
Pseudo 3D Touch in iPadOS works with the Apple Maps app, too.
Maps works, too.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iPadOS makes us happy

As you can see, this Just Works™. Any app that supports 3D Touch Home-screen shortcuts on iPhone will also expose them on the iPad in iPadOS. And, on the Maps app screenshot, you can see why. The last entry on the list is Show All Windows. This shows all the open windows for that app, gathering them together in a new App Exposé view. This is there to support iPadOS’ new multiple-window feature.

Perhaps the addition of a pseudo-3D Touch is just a side effect of this, but it’s one I’m very happy about.

  1. Pun unintentional, but I shall accept full credit nonetheless.