Mobility

Force Touch to be tentpole iPhone 6s feature, expected next month

Apple is said to be introducing the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus on September 9th. Jordan Golson explains.

Apple

As it has for the past several years, Apple is expected to introduce new versions of the iPhone at a media event on Wednesday, September 9th, according to a report from the well-connected John Paczkowski at Buzzfeed.

Also expected are updated iPads and a significant upgrade to the Apple TV set-top box, which is said to gain Siri voice control, an improved touch-pad remote, and a new App Store. That last update has been rumored for several years now, but the Apple rumor mill has been getting more consistent on that front recently.

It does not appear that the Apple subscription television service will launch in September, and Paczkowski says the professional-focused 12.9-inch iPad Pro "seems to be a wildcard" for the event.

Because the iPhone generates more than two-thirds of Apple's overall revenue, it is by far the most important product to be announced. Thanks to a new report from the ever-reliable Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac (along with corroboration on some major points from Pacskowski), we now know a little more about what the iPhone 6s will include.

The biggest update will be Force Touch, which debuted on the Apple Watch this past Spring and then made its way to the new MacBook and some other Apple notebooks. Force Touch adds a "deep press" to the screen, acting something like a right-click on a PC to bring up a contextual menu based on what was pushed.

According to Gurman, Force Touch on the iPhone will be designed to help users get deeper parts of apps with fewer presses. For example, users can force press a point of interest in Apple's Maps app and immediately begin turn-by-turn directions, saving two button presses in the process.

A force press on a song in the Music app would bring up a menu that allows the user to choose between adding that song to a playlist or saving it for offline listing.

Force presses are said to be represented by several different possibilities, including a new user interface that surrounds the finger when the force press is performed, a shortcut list at the bottom of the screen that current appears in many apps across iOS, or a more subtle form for straightforward actions.

The idea is to skip options and extraneous button presses with the new Force Touch feature. Other things coming to the iPhone are easily predicted, including a faster processor, higher quality camera, battery life improvements, and an increase in RAM to 2 GB.

Gurman says Apple will upgrade all its built-in iOS apps to support Force Touch and that developers will have access to the service as well.

Are you planning to upgrade to the new iPhone 6s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Jordan Golson

Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.

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