3D Touch

Apple may drop the Touch Bar from its next MacBook Pro

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You got the touch. Here's how to master your MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar.
Apple introduced the context-sensitive Touch Bar in 2016.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

According to reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next-gen MacBook Pro will come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, feature more ports and bring back the MagSafe charger in some form (!). And, of course,  the high-end laptops will run on new Apple Silicon chips.

But the first big MacBook Pro redesign in half a decade also do away with the Touch Bar, the controversial — and never entirely successful — innovation Apple debuted back in 2016.

3D Touch is dead. Long live Haptic Touch

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3Dtouch
Au revoir 3D Touch.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

3D Touch, the pressure-sensitive screen tech ushered in by Apple, has officially met its end.

Introduced as one of the major new features on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple said 3D Touch was going to take multi-touch into a whole new dimension. Jony Ive waxed poetic about the new peek and pop gestures 3D Touch would enable in an Apple video explaining the feature. With the unveiling of the iPhone SE this morning, 3D Touch is as good as dead and we can’t say we’re really going to miss it.

Access your App Store updates from the iOS 13 Home screen [Pro Tip]

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iOS 13 app updates
The quickest way to see your app updates in iOS 13.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip: This to-do list hack turns your tasks into questions iOS 13 did away with the old Updates tab in the App Store, and replaced it with Apple Arcade. That’s pretty bad news if you don’t want to use Apple Arcade. But on the plus side, you can access your app updates from the Home screen using 3D Touch. And the good news is that, in iOS 13, you can also use this trick on the iPad.

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

3D Touch is dead. Long live 3D Touch! Even though Apple removed the 3D Touch hardware from iPhone 11, the company resurrected the feature via Haptic Touch on its latest devices (just the way it mimicked it with iPhone XR). And now that iPadOS is here, that means 3D Touch is coming to iPads (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. Let’s see how it looks.

3D Touch disappears, and that’s great for people who love it [Opinion]

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ipad 3d touch
Without the sacrifice of 3D Touch, this wouldn't be possible on iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I love 3D Touch. I use it all the time. It’s one of the handiest shortcuts on the iPhone. And now, with the iPhone 11, it’s gone. But I don’t care. Why? Because Haptic Touch is almost as good. Even better, thanks to Apple’s switch to Haptic Touch, you can use all those 3D Touch features on the iPad.

3D Touch a folder to see only apps with notifications

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Perhaps the greatest 3D Touch trick ever.
Perhaps the greatest 3D Touch trick ever.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’re going to L-O-V-E this tip. You know how sometimes you see a folder on your iPhone’s home screen, and there’s a red notification badge on the folder itself? That badge is a summary of all the unread notifications of the apps inside the folder. Of course, at this point you just ignore it, because you don’t want to swipe through the pages of never-used apps inside the folder, just to see which apps have unread alerts.

But what if there was a way to quickly see which apps in that folder have outstanding notifications. Well, there is! And you’re going to kick yourself when you see how easy it is.

Improved Taptic Engine could replace 3D Touch in iPhone 11

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3D Touch
The handy but not vital tricks that come with 3D Touch are reportedly going away.
Photo: Apple

Evidence continues to grow that the iPhone 11 will lack 3D Touch, and will instead include a smarter version of Haptic Touch — a fancy name for long-pressing on the screen.

Previous unconfirmed reports indicated Apple would kill 3D Touch to lower the cost of the 2019 models.

Prioritize and cancel app downloads with 3D Touch

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No, not that kind of 3D Touch.
No, not that kind of 3D Touch.
Photo: Rachel Johnson/Flickr CC

Did you ever update a bunch of apps over a slow connection? Maybe you’re on vacation, saving your cellular data, and you’re running your app updates on the free Wi-Fi in a cool beachside bar? Can you cancel that huge update you don’t need?

Or maybe you just restored your iCloud backup to a brand-new iPhone, and now you’re waiting for all the apps to re-download. Isn’t there a way to make your favorite apps jump to the beginning of the queue?

Well, the answer is yes to both! You just need 3D Touch.

How gesture controls could bring multi-touch to Mac [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 285]

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Gesture controls could replace 3D Touch and bring multi-touch to the Mac (finally!).
Gesture controls could replace 3D Touch and bring multi-touch to the Mac (finally!).
Cover: Graham Bower and Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

With gesture controls apparently about to become a thing, it’s time to look at how they could work on future iPhones and Macs. In this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine, we show how gesture controls could take the place of the dying 3D Touch. And, even better, how they could bring multi-touch to the Mac at long last.

Download the latest free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine for iOS. Or hit the links below to get the latest news, reviews and how-tos from our website.

How gesture controls could replace 3D Touch and bring multi-touch to the Mac [Opinion]

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Hovering your finger over an icon could bring up more options
Hovering your finger over an icon could bring up more options
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG looks set to unveil a revolutionary new smartphone with gesture controls. In a brief teaser video, the South Korean tech giant boldly promises the end of multi-touch — the way we’ve all been interacting with smartphones ever since the iPhone launched in 2007.

A gesture sensor could pick up hand movements in front of the device, rather than requiring physical interaction with the screen itself. So, for example, you could point at a button from a distance, rather than actually needing to tap the glass screen to select it.

In reality, I doubt that gestures will replace multi-touch anytime soon. However, I do think Apple could make intelligent use of this new tech. It could replace 3D Touch (which Apple looks set to scrap), and it could serve as a clever way to finally bring multi-touch to the Mac.

Death of 3D Touch, AirPods with health sensors, and a MacBook Pro flaw you need to know about, on The CultCast

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Cultcast 372 MacBook Pro
New AIrPods with health sensors in 2019? Is Apple killing 3D Touch? We'll tell you what we know.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Why iPhone’s 3D Touch is probably dead; new reports say AirPods packed with health sensors are coming in 2019; the MacBook Pro “stage light” flaw affects all models built after 2016 — and could cost you $600 to fix. Plus, the wild saga of MoviePass … continues.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first hosting plan or domain.

3D Touch is probably dead

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3D Touch
The handy but not vital tricks that come with 3D Touch are reportedly going away.
Photo: Apple

Apple will scrub 3D Touch, the feature that powers Quick Actions and other handy shortcuts, from all 2019 iPhones, according to multiple sources.

The tech, which lets the iPhone tell how hard someone is pressing on its display, will apparently fall victim to Apple’s attempts to lower the price tag of future models.

iPhone XR review: Why buy anything else?

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iPhone XR review: With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XR is typical Apple. It’s an entry-level phone with a bunch of premium features. Jony Ive just cannot cut corners, even if he wanted to. This is no plasticky, cut-rate phone built to meet a price point. It’s a primo phone with primo features (and a primo price tag, TBH). It just happens to be the cheapest new iPhone in Apple’s lineup.

The XR delivers everything customers care about: a big, beautiful screen; great cameras; long battery life; and Face ID.

The iPhone XR is arguably Apple’s most interesting smartphone of 2018 because of this slightly odd bundle of budget/premium features. It’s arguably a $1,200 phone in a $750 package.

For a chance to win a brand-new iPhone XR, enter our free giveaway here.

iOS 12 brings trackpad mode to every iPhone and iPad

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trackpad mode
Trackpads -- not just for the Mac any more.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Users of 3-D Touch-capable iPhones, and of iPads in general, have long been able to use the devices’ fantastic trackpad mode. It’s a great way to quickly move the keyboard’s insert point (aka cursor) precisely where you want it — and it just got even better.

In iOS 12, this neat trick comes to all iPhones, even those without 3-D Touch. Bonus tip: The update also makes it even easier to use trackpad mode on your iPad.

Know the differences between iPhone XS and iPhone XR

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iPhone xs xr compared
With all these vibrant options, the iPhone XR wins the color game.
Photo: Apple

Unlike previous iPhone launches, it’s not immediately obvious which iPhone you should buy if you want the best. Or rather, the iPhone XS is clearly the flagship model, but the iPhone XR, launching a month later, has some features which are better than its sibling.

So, what are the important differences to know before you choose which new iPhone X is right for you?

iOS 12 wish list: All the features we absolutely need

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iOS 12 wish list
Here's everything we want from Apple's next major update.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC is right around the corner, which means we’re about to get our very first look at Apple’s next major update to iOS.

We’re expecting big things from iOS 12, including a whole host of improvements that will make our devices more stable, and plenty of welcome bug fixes. Apple will surely surprise us with some nice new features, too.

Here’s our lengthy wish list for this update, which includes a Home screen overhaul, a more powerful FaceTime, better multitasking, and more!

iPhone X is a huge hit, the death of 3D Touch, and inflatable paddle boards on The CultCast

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quotes on Apple
Tim Cook is the CEO of getting a bag.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

This week on a very volatile episode of The CultCast: the analysts were all wrong—iPhone X is a massive hit. Plus: the death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone; the world’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple; Apple’s AirPort router lineup is officially dead; and we pitch you our favorite show, movie, and vodka in an all-new Under Review. It’s a juicy one. Hit play and catch the discussion.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first hosting plan or domain.

Death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone

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3D Touch
The handy but not vital tricks that come with 3D Touch are reportedly going away.
Photo: Apple

Say goodbye to 3D Touch. A very reliable analyst predicts one of the iPhones coming in autumn won’t have this pressure-sensitive technology, and none of the 2019 devices will.

Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s all because Apple is changing the components of its displays to make them lighter and less likely to break.

Pro Tip: Use Safari’s secret page-reload options

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safari reload
Long press Safari's buttons to access secret extras.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugSafari is a pretty full-featured mobile browser, but if you tap the time to long-press on its buttons and icons, you’ll discover a whole lot of neat extra tricks. These aren’t esoteric power-user tricks either. Pretty much every button on a safari page has an extra function, and it is almost always something you’ll find yourself using every day. Today we’ll see what the plain old reload button can offer us.