The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus are both expected to come with support for Force Touch gestures, a brand new way of interacting with a device that was first seen in the Apple Watch, Retina MacBook and select MacBook Pro models. After Bloomberg said recently that both 2015 iPhones will get the new feature, a new report from Taiwan indicates that the components needed for this great new tech are already in mass production.
According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will indeed have special displays containing the special components required for Force Touch haptic feedback support, while iOS 9 will also have native Force Touch compatibility. Just like on the MacBook trackpad, the iPhone 6s will offer users real-time haptic feedback, which means users will get a physical response when using Force Touch gestures.
Not only will Force Touch actions work in Apple apps, but also in third-party apps, as developers will be able to integrate the gesture in their iOS creations. Users who are already experimenting with Force Touch gestures on MacBooks will find in iOS 9 similar functionality for Maps, Calendar and other apps.
Interestingly though, the feature won’t be as essential to iPhone users for navigating and using the device as it is on the Apple Watch, where Force Touch gestures are significantly more important. Instead, Force Touch on the iPhone 6s will be more of a “power user-centric” feature, a gesture that would let users “replace some long press-and-hold button interactions” and speed up their iOS experience.
Force Touch might be one new feature to distinguish the iPhone 6s from predecessors, but there are other smaller iOS 9 features coming to all existing devices that’ll run the new operating system.
The publication says Apple Pay will hit Canada next, although it’s still not clear when Canadians will receive Apple Pay support at this time, as Apple isn’t likely to make any announcement until all its deals are in place.
iMessage is also receiving some welcome new features, including support for read receipts for group chat threads, and read receipts on a contact-by-contact basis – the latter will let anyone activate read receipts only for certain contacts, replacing the all-or-nothing concept that’s used now.
The iOS 9 keyboard will also bring over some improvements, including a new, longer design which includes additional controls while in portrait mode. The company also plans to make QuickType more accessible in iOS 9.
Finally, Apple is considering dumping the Game Center app from iOS 9 and adding more data points for the Health application, the report says.
According to sources from the supply chain that spoke to Digitimes, Force Touch panels are already being churned out in Eastern factories, with suppliers ramping up production now.
The new gesture, applying increased pressure when tapping on the screen, is specially designed for iOS power users, allowing them to access certain settings and options faster than before.
Apple did not reveal any Force Touch integration for the iPhone when unveiling iOS 9 in June.
Apple is expected to make 36 to 40 million iPhone 6s units in the third quarter of the year and 50 million units in the Christmas quarter. The company is expected to ship some 230 million total iPhones this year.
Suppliers reportedly began shipping Force Touch modules in limited numbers in June, increasing shipments in July. TPK is one of the companies that’s making Force Touch modules for Apple, Digitimessays, and the company also started production this month.