Peek, Pop and other 3D Touch features
3D Touch brings with it a number of other new features.
First off, there's Peek and Pop -- and despite the cutesy names, they are pretty powerful new actions. Peek lets you view the contents of an email or text message from its respective list without actually having to open the message.
To activate Peek, apply a bit more pressure to the item you want to see in that list; the iPhone will give haptic feedback to acknowledge the press and a preview of the item will appear. If this is something that requires no further attention, ease up on the pressure and the window will slide into the list again so you can continue scrolling.
By swiping up on the Peek view, you can see related actions: Swiping up in Messages will let you "Mark as Read" or send a quick or custom message; in Mail, swiping lets you reply, forward or mark or move a message, or set up notifications for that email thread.
Pop is simply full screen mode to Peek's preview. Press a little harder and the content expands to fit the entire display, with the haptic feedback to accompany it.
I found Peek and Pop to be quite useful, especially in text messages. I'm always receiving links to interesting videos or interesting websites from friends. Peek and Pop let me check out what they send without actually leaving the Messages app. And if the content truly is interesting, then I press the screen a little harder and the content takes over what I was doing. Peek and Pop also work in Safari, letting you preview websites before committing to the link. It's brilliant.
3D Touch can also be used to switch apps. Start by pressing firmly on the left side of the screen; dragging a bit to the right will bring up the App Switcher and firmly swiping all the way to the right switches to the last app.
When editing text, a deep press on the keyboard enables trackpad mode, which lets you place the cursor exactly where you want quickly and accurately. Also, moving the cursor over a word and then pressing firmly again will highlight that word; pressing firmly twice selects a block of text. You can drag your finger up and down to select and highlight more text.
Interestingly, while there are quite a few areas in which you can find 3D Touch, there is a curious spot where you can't. While on the Apple Watch, you can clear out every Notification at once with a firm press on the Notifications screen, you can't do that on the iPhone. You still have to close Notifications by hand. That's not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but it would be nice to activate a Clear All via firm press.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.