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Five Simple 3D Touch Shortcuts for iPhones and iPads

Five Simple 3D Touch Shortcuts for iPhones and iPads

Apple’s 3D shortcuts provide a faster way to perform a variety of commands and provide access to additional menus. The 3D touch feature is an iPhone exclusive and works by registering the amount of pressure you exert with your finger onto the iPhone.

With this feature, you will be able to pull up the list of open apps on the phone, transform the keyboard to a mouse trackpad, control the brightness of the flashlight, and see previews of web links in Safari. In addition to this, you can also prioritize updates or the installation of certain apps. In this article, we will go through how to perform each one of those shortcuts.

View Open Apps- To use this feature, you will simply long press your finger against the left side off your screen. Hold down until you feel a short vibration signaling the 3D touch feature has been enabled. Once you do this, you will see the edges of a few apps toward the left side of the screen. By swiping to the right, you will be able to cycle through all the apps and select the one you wish to open. Alternatively, you can press the home button to return to the app you were on.

Keyboard as a Mouse Trackpad- One of the coolest features of the 3D touch shortcuts is the ability to use Apple’s keyboard as a mouse trackpad. To activate this feature, simply go to the app you wish to use and pull up the keyboard. Next, hold down firmly on the keyboard and then start moving your finger around. The cursor should now be activated. You can use this feature to highlight text. Simply,

  • Leave the keyboard pressed
  • Navigate the cursor to the text you want to highlight
  • Press harder to select the text – this is like clicking on your laptop mousepad

Control the Brightness of the Flashlight- The flashlight feature has been an integral part of the iPhone since its debut. However, many people criticized it for not being able to control the brightness. This is now a thing of the past thanks to the iPhone’s 3D Touch feature. To activate this feature all you have to do is:

  • Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone to bring up the menu that contains the flashlight
  • Hard press against the flashlight until the 3D Touch feature activates
  • A menu of three options should pull up: Low Light, Medium Light, Bright Light
  • Tap which brightness setting you want to use and the flashlight will turn on

See Previews of Links in Safari- One of the lesser known features of the iPhone’s 3D Touch is the ability to preview links in Safari. By utilizing this feature, you can get a quick glimpse of the site before you decide to visit it. To use this feature, you will need to:

  • Long press your finger against the link you wish to preview.
  • A small preview will pop up on your screen
  • To exit, simply let go of the link and you will return to the page you were originally on
  • Alternatively, you can hard press to navigate to the link

Prioritize Updates or Installation- Updating all your apps at the same time might leave you waiting for a while to open the app you wanted to use right now. It might be the last in the queue of all the apps updating. However, using this 3D Touch shortcut, you will no longer have to wait for all the other downloads to be completed. You can move the app you really want to use to the front of the queue. To do this you simply:

  • Long press on the app that is currently in queue and that you wish to prioritize
  • The 3D Touch menu will open and you will see options to share, cancel, pause, or prioritize the download
  • Tap on “Prioritize Download” to pause the installation of other apps until this app has been updated

Final Thoughts- Apple’s 3D Touch feature offers solutions to many features that were lacking in previous iOS updates. Many of these features have been available for some time, this article just shows you how to take advantage of them. With this added functionality, you will be able to highlight text quicker, jump between apps faster, and even navigate the web easier.