How To Use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Today, we’re gonna to take a deep dive into how to use 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

What is 3D touch?

3D Touch is a feature that allows you to access different app shortcuts, functions, actions and previews on your iPhone by simply applying pressure to your screen. It’s that easy!

The iPhone 6s screen is pressure sensitive (just like the Apple Watch) so the force you use, dictates what your phone does, which is pretty handy for a whole bunch of reasons.

[Tweet “Everything you can do with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus “]

3D Touch features ‘Quick Actions’ which work as a shortcut, think of it as kind of like a right click function for your iPhone, and ‘Peek and Pop’, which lets you preview things on your phone before you open them.

You can also change your 3D Touch settings and choose to apply firm, medium or light pressure to activate it.  I’ll show you how to change that really quickly.

1. Go to Settings.
2. Click on Accessibility.
3. Scroll down to 3D touch.
4. From here you can:  Turn it off. This is one of the big selling points of the iPhone 6s, so I have no clue as to why you would even want to do that.  To adjust touch sensitivity – select the amount of pressure you’d like to use to activate 3D Touch: Firm, Medium or Light.
I’ve got mine set on light. I had it on firm and medium, but I felt like I was pressing way too hard on my iPhone. I don’t know, call me crazy, but I thought I might break something!

Let’s take a quick look at some of the Stock iPhone Apps that support 3D touch and what you can do with them.

3d touch stock apps

  • Calendar: You can quickly add a new event.
  • Messages: You’ll see the last couple of messages you’ve had and you can also create a new message.
  • Music: You can quickly replay your last song, search your music or play Beats 1.
  • Camera: You can choose to take a selfie, record a video, slow-mo or take a photo.
  • Clock App: Quickly start a timer, create an alarm or start the stopwatch.
  • Phone app: You can easily access your most frequently dialed contacts and even create a new contact.
  • Messages: You can quickly look at your inbox.
  • VIP: You can do a search or create a new message.
  • Safari: You can view your reading list and bookmarks. You can create a new private tab or a new tab.
  • App Store: I love this because it’s a shortcut for redeeming your iTunes gift card or searching for something in the App Store really fast!  You can do the same thing with the iTunes Store App.
  • Notes: Create a new note, add a photo or a new sketch.
  • Maps:  Easily search for home directions, mark your location, send your location to someone or do a search.
  • Photos: You can see the most recent photos, favorites or conduct a quick search.
  • Videos: It will list some of your videos and how many minutes or hours you have remaining.
  • iBooks: You can see some of the books that you’ve read. You can see if you finished it or how much you’ve read so far.
  • Podcast: It’ll show what you’re looking at and how much time you’ve got remaining.
  • Shazam: This is pretty cool because you can Force Touch the app icon and “Shazam now”! You can Auto Shazam, Visual Shazam and do a Search.
  • Wallet: A shortcut to add a credit card.
  • Game Center: Send a friend request.
  • Contacts: Quickly make a new contact.
  • Voice Memo: By using 3D touch you can start a recording.

[Tweet “How To Use 3D Touch With Stock iPhone Apps”]

Now, let’s take a look at some of the third party Apps that are currently working with the iPhone’s 3D Touch feature.

These are just a few that I have on my iPhone right now. You may have some that I didn’t mention, if so, definitely let me know on the comments below.

My News Apps:

3d touch news apps

  • Feedly: That’s working.
  • Pocket: Not working
  • Flipboard: check notifications, search, see posts from those you follow and take a look at Cover stories
  • Buzzfeed: Quickly jump to life, videos, quizzes and trending
  • Apple News: Of course.
  • Bing: I’m kind of surprised Bing isn’t working yet.

Social Apps:

3d touch social apps

  • Pinterest: Is Working and you can quickly take a shortcut to Trending, Search Pins, or Create A Pin.
  • Google +: Not Working
  • HootSuite: Not Working
  • Buffer: Working and you can use it to quickly compose a message.
  • LinkedIn: Use 3D Touch on LinkedIn to search, create a new message, view activity or share something.
  • Digg: Anybody still using Digg these days? Anyway you can quickly access the RSS reader, create a new message, view activity or share something.
  • Twitter: Create a new message, new tweet or search for something.
  • Tumblr: Not working
  • Paper: Not working


3d touch entertainment apps

  • Amazon is on it! I mean most of the Apps that Amazon has are responsive to the 3D Touch feature.
  • Netflix: Not working
  • Flixster: Not working.
  • HBO: Not working.
  • Red Box: Not working.

Let’s move on to Health and Fitness (again, these are just some of the Apps on my phone).

3D touch health app

  • Lose It! You can easily record your weight, log exercise, log food or scan a bar code.
  • My Fitness Pal: Not working with 3D Touch
  • Argus: Not working with 3D Touch


Now, let’s get into some of the best 3D Touch Features on the iPhone 6s.

• Quickly preview a playlist with 3D Touch

Quickly preview a playlist with 3D Touch

To make use of this feature simply go to your Music App, select ’playlist’ and apply pressure to that selected playlist (you can ‘peek’ to take at the first few songs). If you keep applying the same pressure and slide up, you’ll be able to Play, Shuffle or Delete the Selected Playlist.

• Use 3D touch to preview any link

Whether you’re in your email App, Safari, or using any other iPhone App, if your hard press on a link, you’ll be able to ‘peek’ at the contents without actually going to the link! Now you can either press deeper to open the webpage or you can keep applying the same pressure and slide up to: Open in New Tab, Add to Reading List or Copy. The only downside is that it takes few moments to open.

• Preview photos and videos by pressing the thumbnail

To use this feature open your Camera App and ‘Force Touch’ on your thumbnail and viola! You can get a quick preview of that photo you just took without having to leave the camera! You can also use this with your videos as well.

[Tweet “Here’s some of the best 3D Touch Features on the iPhone 6s!”]

• Access Multitasking by using 3D Touch

access multitasking by using 3D touch

Did you know that you can activate multitasking without double tapping your home button?  You can with a 6s! Just hard press on the side of your screen!  I’ve found that it work’s best if you hard press right on the edge of your iPhone, otherwise you might go into ‘wiggle mode’.

• How to use 3D Touch in your Contacts App

Use this cool feature by going to ‘Contacts’ in your iPhone App and ‘Force Touch’ a contact’s name, now you to either Call, FaceTime or Send a Message.

• Use 3D Touch on iBook App:

When you hard press on the iBook App icon you’ll be able to easily search the iBooks Store, take a look at your last 3 books and what percent has been read so far.

• Use 3D Touch Peek at Directions

Use 3D Touch Peek at Directions

Let’s say one of your friends sends you a text with an address, you can just use 3D Touch to get a ‘peek’ at the map, or press a little harder and ‘pop’ it out to activate directions.

• Reply To A Message Using 3D Touch

If you open up your messages app and press on a contact you can ’peek’ at the last message and when you slide up, it’ll give you the option to do a quick ‘stock’ reply, or you can create a custom reply.

• Turn Your iPhone Keyboard Into a Track Pad

Turn Your iPhone Keyboard Into a Track Pad with 3d touch

Say for instance, you’re typing something and you want to go back because you made a mistake.  Just hard-press on your keyboard and now you’ve got a virtual Track Pad!

• Choose to Draw Lighter or Darker In the Notes App

When you are sketching in the notes app, 3D Touch is pressure sensitive. So if you use for example, the marker, the more you pressure you apply, the darker your stroke becomes.

• Quick Actions for Email

If you go into your email messages app again and you can hard press on a message to ‘peek’ at it, you can also decide to mark it as ‘read’ or you can ‘delete’ it by holding and dragging the message to the left or right. By sliding the message up, choose to: reply, forward, mark as read, notify or move the message.

3D Touch and Live Wallpapers

3d touch and live wallpapers

Another pretty cool feature is the Live Photos feature, which can bring your iPhone’s wallpaper to life. To activate: choose a ‘live wallpaper’ from settings and ‘set to lock screen’. Now when you apply pressure to your iPhone screen your lock screen wallpaper will move! Pretty cool! However, this only works on your lock screen. So, if you’ve got a live photo set as your wallpaper on your home screen, it’s not gonna work.

I hope this helps you learn how to use 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. If you have something that I didn’t mention, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment. Let me know what you’re using 3D Touch for and what’s your favorite 3D touch feature?