Force Touch

Hands-on: MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar gets rave reviews

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macbook pro
There's a lot to love about the new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

The new MacBook Pro won’t ship for another 2-3 weeks, but members of the media who got their fingers on the new Touch Bar came away from Apple’s event with rave reviews.

Apple hosted a hands-on section after today’s keynote and based on the quick impression the new MacBook Pro made, it looks like Apple has another hit on its hands.

Does the new MacBook Pro need an OLED touchbar? [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf1b
Useful upgrade or unnecessary gimmick?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new MacBook Pro is right around the corner, if recent rumors are to be believed, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most significant refreshes we’ve seen in years. Spy photos all but confirm a new OLED touchbar is coming, but is this advanced hardware really necessary?

Friday Night Fights bug Those who are excited about it can see the how customizable function keys might improve their experience in macOS, while others believe it will be little more than a gimmick.

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we discuss whether the MacBook Pro really needs an OLED touchbar.

Is it time for Apple to ditch the MacBook Air? [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf
Isn't the MacBook Air too good to go?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple could be about to kill its most popular notebook. According to reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is planning to ditch the MacBook Air and add a 13-inch MacBook to its lineup as a replacement.

FNF-bugThe original ultraportable is starting to look a little long in the tooth. Having gone without an update for over a year, it is Apple’s only laptop without a Retina display, a Force Touch trackpad, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

But is it really time to let it go, or does it just need a refresh? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether the MacBook Air has a place in Apple’s future.

Change your Apple Watch language in a flash

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Force touch Apple Watch
Here's a hint.
Photo: Apple

This tip won’t help everyone, but it should be a huge timesaver for multilingual users: You can change your Apple Watch language for Messages with just a couple quick taps. And you can do it directly on the device without having to go into the companion app on your phone.

Here’s how to make it happen.

Apple’s mouse will get even more magical with Force Touch

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Force Touch is coming to the Magic Mouse.
Photo: Apple

From introducing the mouse to a mass market to getting rid of its buttons by order of Steve Jobs, Apple has always been at the forefront when it comes to driving mouse technology forward.

A new Apple patent published today promises to keep that tradition by describing a future Magic Mouse with integrated Force Touch sensors.

Coming soon, we hope, to a Mac near you!

iOS 9.3 brings all-new 3D Touch shortcuts

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3D Touch is becoming more indispensable.
Photo: Apple

3D Touch gets a big boost in iOS 9.3, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

On top of the various other “what to expect” features we’ve told you about, the iOS update, which arrived yesterday, also adds a host of new shortcuts you can use from the home screen for all standard pre-installed apps. Check out our list below.

Pro Tip: Use Apple Watch to send friends your exact location

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Sending your location is just a tap and a press away.
Sending your location is just a tap and a press away.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro_Tip_Cult_of_MacOne of the cooler features of having a pocket computer like the iPhone is being able to send a friend your location via Messages. Just a couple of taps on the iPhone and you can let anyone know where you’re at. It’s easy and super useful when you need to get a group together at a specific location.

The Apple Watch has a similar feature, which lets you do the very same thing without ever having to pull your iPhone out of your pocket.

Here’s how.

4 features the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t need

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Apple Watch 2 concept by Eric Huismann
The Apple Watch 2 may not look like this, but we'd be fine if it did.
Photo: Eric Heisuman

After the rumblings and grumblings that we’ll get our first look at the Apple Watch 2 in as soon as three months, the Internet is ablaze with all of the great features the update “should” have. But let’s not go overboard, here, because not all of these suggestions would make the new wearable better.

We aren’t talking about Android compatibility, complete independence from its paired phone, or a better battery life; we’d welcome any of those updates in a second. But we couldn’t really see a need or want for a few of the rumored/desired new features, regardless of how crazy awesome they might seem at first.

Xiaomi’s first smartphone with 3D Touch hits a snag

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xiaomis-first-smartphone-with-3d-touch-hits-a-snag-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads2015113D-Touch-iPhone-6s-jpg
3D Touch in action on iPhone 6s. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android
3D Touch in action on iPhone 6s. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Xiaomi’s efforts to follow Apple into adopting pressure-sensitive smartphone displays has hit a roadblock, with the Chinese company struggling to source suitable components at a reasonable price. This almost certainly means that Xiaomi fans will have to wait longer for its first handset with 3D Touch.

Apple already working on Force Touch keyboards

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Use your credit card to solve your Apple problems. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Yep, I'd buy that.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has steadily been rolling out its 3D Touch/Force Touch technology across as many of its devices as possible — and the next step may be Mac keyboards.

According to a newly published patent for an “Ultra low travel keyboard,” Apple’s futuristic keyboard would allow different functions or commands to be assigned as per, “different levels of force input” received when you press a key.

5 apps that showcase 3D Touch’s true potential

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Third-party apps are already jumping on board with 3D Touch and so should you.
Photo: Apple

So, you’re one of 13 million people to get a brand new iPhone 6S over the launch weekend. Congratulations, you now have access to a faster phone — potentially a rose gold one, better cameras, stronger aluminum and of course, 3D Touch. The latter is actually extremely useful, but it’s only as useful as developers allow.

Since the feature is brand new, 3D Touch mostly works with Apple’s stock iOS apps for quick application shortcuts on the Home screen, plus Peek and Pop inside apps to preview different types of content. A few productive developers saw the light and quickly updated their apps to support this drastically new way to use an iPhone.

You can tell that the future is very bright for 3D Touch as developers are just getting started figuring out how to unlock all of its potential. Until we reach that 3D utopia, here are five terrific apps that already do Apple’s latest innovation plenty of justice.

Watch Tim Cook take on Yoda in this ridiculous animated news video

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Use the Force (touch) Tim.
Use the Force (touch) Tim.
Photo: Tomo News

It’s time to throw away your old smartphone and get ready for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that Apple is expected to announce tomorrow. To celebrate Apple’s new gadget, the crazy folks at TomoNews have created a new animated video that shows all of the new features coming to the iPhone 6s, but not in the way you’d expect.

The ridiculous/racist/low-brow video reveals new features like the iPhone 6s’ extra-strong casing that could be used as protection if you ever get into a shoot out with police. They’ve also got details on the powerful camera with x-ray technology coming down the line, and even created a scene where Yoda and Tim Cook face off in a lightsaber duel for the rights to use the Force.

Watch the animated news show below:

Spoiler alert: All the juicy details on iPhone 6s

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It's time to get ready for your iOS 9 upgrade.
Here's everything we know about the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Although the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus aren’t expected to bring major design changes to Apple’s world-beating smartphone lineup, a bevy of hardware upgrades will make the new models faster and easier to use.

Even though we’re almost a week away from Apple’s 2015 iPhone unveiling, we pretty much know all the key features that are coming. Here’s everything we think know about the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which will undoubtedly become most popular iPhones ever.

Huawei beats Apple to a smartphone with Force Touch

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Huawei's Mate S can weigh an orange on its Force Touch display.
Photo: Huawei

Apple may have been the first to put Force Touch technology in a smartwatch, but Huawei has beaten the Cupertino company to putting it inside a phone.

At the IFA trade show in Berlin today, Huawei used the Force Touch display in its new Mate S smartphone to weigh an orange, a week before the technology is expected to make its way to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

First glimpse at iPhone 6s Plus display shows off Force Touch sensor

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The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are coming on September 18th, according to German carriers.
The iPhone 6s Plus is almost here.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6s Plus is less than two weeks away but, like last year, photos of the larger iPhone have been decidedly scarce compared to its 4.7-inch baby brother.

That appears to have changed thanks to two new photos leaked from supply chain sources in Taiwan that show off the iPhone 6s Plus display and internal Force Touch component.

Check them out below.

Cult of Mac Magazine: Apple’s next big thing(s), hot tips for iOS, Mac and Apple Watch and more

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What's headed our way, Apple fans?
What's headed our way, Apple fans?
Cover: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s another week ending, which means its time for us to round up all the great content from Cult of Mac into one delightful Cult of Mac Magazine.

We’ve got all the info we could find out about the upcoming Apple event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in SF, a ton of useful and hidden tips for iOS, Apple Watch (and even OS X), and some fantastic gaming new that you don’t want to miss.

Check it all out (and more) in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, and don’t forget to look at this sneak peek at the upcoming revamp of the entire digital experience.

iOS 9 code appears to confirm Force Touch for iPhone 6s

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Apple Watch's Force Touch is coming to iPhone.
Apple Watch’s Force Touch is coming to iPhone.
Photo: Apple

The addition of Force Touch on the next iPhone has been churning through the rumor mill practically since Apple unveiled the technology with the Apple Watch last year. We’ve yet to see any component leaks that confirm the tech is actually coming to the iPhone 6s, but one developer may have just found evidence that it’s definitely on the way.

iOS developer Hamza Sood discovered key references to Force Touch in iOS today that appear to confirm the iPhone 6s will indeed come with pressure sensitive technology, and it may also add the new trackpad gestures that Apple is adding to iPad with the release of iOS 9.

Here’s what Hamza found:

iPhone 6s screen assembly appears to confirm Force Touch

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iPhone 6s display has a few notable differences.
Photo: MacManiack

A new video showing what appears to be an assembled display component for the upcoming iPhone 6s once again hints at the arrival of Force Touch for the next-gen handset.

Posted by European repair firm MacManiack, the video shows the iPhone 6s having a front-facing FaceTime camera and proximity sensor in the same place as the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. However, a few changes have been made — and MacManiack thinks they may relate to Apple’s next pressure-sensitive iPhone technology.

Force Touch makes early appearance on iPhone in new concept video

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Force Touch
Here's what Force Touch may look like on the iPhone 6s.
Photo: Maximilian Kiener

A new video mockup shows how Force Touch might work on the iPhone 6s, the less-expensive Apple smartphone expected to hit shelves next month.

Given that we’ve already seen how Force Touch is implemented on the Apple Watch and MacBook, this neat conceptual video shows some of the many ways we may use the technology in new iPhones.