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Apple granted patent for detecting touch-free gestures at close-range, building on multi-touch

proximity

Apple was today granted a patent for detecting touch-free gestures at close range, the patent language suggesting that the approach could build on the capabilities of multi-touch and 3D touch to respond to fingers hovering close to an iPhone or iPad display, as well as use on keyboards and trackpads.

The patent describes using sensors similar to the proximity detectors used to disable accidental touch input on the iPhone screen when you’re holding the phone to your face during a call. Unlike longer-range gesture technologies like Kinect, the system would detect ‘hover events’ just above the surface of the screen …



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Chrome for iOS adds 3D Touch shortcuts, better hardware keyboard support

Chrome 3D Touch

A few weeks ago we noticed that Google has started testing pre-release versions of Chrome through Apple’s TestFlight beta distribution service, and today the version in testing then has been released to everyone through the App Store. The latest version of Chrome for iOS takes advantage of Apple’s new pressure sensitive iPhone 6s displays and offers even more hardware keyboard shortcuts that will benefit iPad users.

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Happy Hour Podcast 036 | Thoughts on Apple’s new iMacs and Magic accessories

Happy Hour 21

Apple has recently released a new lineup of Magic accessories for Mac, but are they worth the hype? Along with that, we get into some discussions on the new 21.5-inch 4K Retina iMac and how it compares to the 27-inch model. Big thanks to Jamf Now (formerly Bushel) for sponsoring this week’s episode. To find out what awesome cloud-based mobile device management can do for you, check out https://www.jamf.com/happyhour.



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Apple launches larger Magic Trackpad 2 with Force Touch, Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Keyboard

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Alongside today’s expected new iMac updates, Apple has announced a trio of new input devices for desktops: the Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Keyboard. The new keyboard and trackpad have an updated design to accommodate improved keys on the keyboard and Force Touch on the trackpad, while the mouse has been redesigned internally. All three devices work on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that juice up via a standard USB Lightning cable:



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Samsung rumored to bring ‘3D Touch’ pressure-sensitive features to its next Galaxy phones

3D Touch iPhone 6s Plus

Samsung is already eying the iPhone 6s’s most significant new feature, 3D Touch, for its next-generation Galaxy phones. A report on Weibo suggests that the Korean company will be adding pressure-sensitive screens next year following Apple’s lead.

Samsung will apparently be using screen technology from Synaptic, called ClearForce, which we reported on last week. Although right now pressure-sensitive screens are effectively exclusive to iPhone, the availability of Synaptic hardware to OEMs is seemingly allowing Samsung (as well as other manufacturers, not yet disclosed) to jump on board in the near future.



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OS X code reveals new Apple Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Trackpad 2

Smart Keyboard iPad Pro

Apple looks to be preparing updated versions of its keyboard, trackpad, and mouse accessories for near-term release. Code freshly discovered in the latest OS X 10.11.1 beta references next-generation versions of the products, as first spotted by Consomac. We’ve confirmed the references to new Apple peripherals are not present on the current OS X release, version 10.11.0, and first appear in OS X 10.11.1, currently in beta.

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Synaptics announces 3D Touch-like touchscreen controller for Android phones

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From 9to5Google:

Synaptics has today announced the ClearPad 3700 force-sensing touchscreen controller, which the company hopes will be packed inside many a 2016 flagship Android smartphone. This comes just about a month after Apple’s September 9th event, at which the Cupertino company announced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, both packing “3D Touch” as a headline feature…

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iPhone 6s diary: Day one first impressions – forget the similarities, this is a whole new phone

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Put the iPhone 6s next to its predecessor, and I’d challenge anyone to tell them apart. You start to notice the difference as soon as you put your thumb on the Touch ID sensor. Apple says that the new sensor is faster, and I was surprised to find that the difference – while small – is definitely noticeable. I had to use both a number of times to persuade myself that it wasn’t just a placebo effect, but I did end up convinced.

I’m going to play with the camera this evening when I have something a bit more interesting to photograph than my office and a view through the window of a very ordinary street, so mostly what I’ve been playing with today is the new Peek and Pop features using 3D Touch.

I was impressed by the idea – it was really this that persuaded me to upgrade despite my earlier doubts – and now that I’ve used it, I would now say there is no doubt at all: 3D Touch fully justifies the upgrade from the iPhone 6 … 

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9to5Toys Last Call: 15″ Retina MacBook Pro $1,700 (or less), iPad Air 2 $349, LG 49″ Smart UHDTV $550, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

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Infento’s Constructible Rides are a K’NEX-like bicycle system that grows with your kid

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Apple 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (newest) 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB: $1,700 or $1,650 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,999)

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Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi up to $150 off (all colors): 16GB $349, 64GB $449, 128GB $549 (Reg. up to $699)

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LG 49-inch 60Hz Smart 4K UHDTV: $550 shipped (Reg. $800+)

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Giveaway: This is Ground’s Mod Laptop 2 is a road warrior’s dream bag, up to $499 value

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Review: Tile’s 2nd-gen Bluetooth tracker makes finding lost keys, dog, or iPhone easier than ever

More new gear from today:

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Games/Apps: FX Photo Studio goes free, PS4 Destiny Taken King bundle w/ MGS V $399, iOS freebiesmore

More deals still alive:

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The Mega Mac 2015 Bundle: 15 solid Apps including MacBooster 2, Disk Drill Pro & More $25 (Orig. $564)

MacUpdate Bundle: 10 apps including Toast 14, DevonThink, ExpanDrive, Boom, iMazing and more for $50
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App Store Free App of the Week: Shadowmatic puzzle game goes free for the first time ($3 value

New products & more:

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The all-in-one Bruvelo Coffeemaker hits Kickstarter with a lofty goal and slim design

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Tacos are the key to scoring one of Sony’s crazy limited edition Gold PlayStation 4 bundles

Could this be the patent behind 3D Force Touch on the new iPhones?

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Our exclusive report that the Force Touch feature in the new iPhones will be a more advanced form of the technology than used in the Apple Watch has been supported by what may be the patent behind it.

Prompted by our report, Patently Apple revisited a patent published in Europe in July and found references which point to the ability to measure three levels of force. While the technology used in the Apple Watch can measure varying levels of pressure (as can be seen in the animation if you slowly increase pressure, for example on the notifications screen), the measurement is translated into just two levels: a touch or a press. 3D Force Touch adds a third level of sensitivity … 

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iPhone 6s to have ‘3D Touch’ three-level, next-gen Force Touch interface

One of the cornerstone features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, to be announced next Wednesday, is a screen based on the Force Touch technology from the latest MacBook trackpads and the Apple Watch. However, as we noted in previous articles such as our event expectations roundup from yesterday, the Force Touch feature in the new iPhones will actually be a next-generation version of the technology. According to sources familiar with the new iPhones, the new pressure-sensitive screen will likely be called the “3D Touch Display”…



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Japan Display executive suggests Apple is greatly increasing iPhone 6S orders ahead of launch

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Mitsuru Homma, CEO of Japan Display has suggested that Apple is planning for a big launch of the next iPhone. Speaking to Reuters today, the executive said that the display panel manufacturer’s “biggest client” keeps asking for more units ahead of next week’s September 9th event.

The move doesn’t come as a big surprise—Apple does want to have enough units to sell when the phone launches next month—but interestingly, Homma notes that despite many companies seeing declines in smartphone sales in many large markets, Apple seems totally unfazed.

Homma also possibly hinted at the presence of Force Touch in the new displays, commenting that there was “difficult technology” involved in creating them.

The upcoming “iPhone 6S” will support a number of new features, including a Force Touch-capable display and improved cameras. Photos of the display panel and other parts have already leaked, and one enterprising YouTube user even claims to have collected and assembled the parts into a semi-working device. While the phone was previously rumored to be available in pink, more recent reports make it seem likely that this will instead be an Apple Watch-like rose gold.

Finally, rumors that we might also see a return to the 4-inch display size of the iPhone 5s in a low-end model of the phone were recently debunked.

KGI: iPhone 6S will have upgraded 5MP front camera, may not have sapphire lens

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A report from the usually-reliable KGI has repeated many of the details from our exclusives on the iPhone 6S, but additionally offered support for an earlier rumor that the front camera will be upgraded to 5MP. Surprisingly, it also suggests that the rear camera lens may not be sapphire, as it has apparently failed drop tests.

Aside from upgrading rear camera module to 12MP, Apple will upgrade front camera module to 5MP […] The new iPhone may not be equipped with sapphire cover lens, as it still has quality issues on the drop test.

Although sapphire is much more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass, it is more brittle, and thus at greater risk of shattering when dropped.

The company also repeated its concerns that limited appeal of the new features, together with external economic factors, is likely to result in flat or negative sales growth … 

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iPad Pro planned for Sept. 9 debut with iPad mini 4; October pre-orders, November launch

Bill Graham Civic (Exposition) Auditorium, 99 Grove St, SF

Apple’s September 9th event is set to be one of the company’s largest events in history, as is reflected by the expansive size of its San Francisco venue. Besides a pair of new iPhones, the substantially revamped Apple TV set top box, and new bands for the Apple Watch, Apple is currently planning to debut a pair of new iPads at next week’s event: the long-rumored iPad Pro, and a refreshed version of the iPad mini, according to trusted sources…



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9to5Toys Last Call: Retina MacBook Pro $1,280, GoPro HERO4 Silver $319, AirPrint printers from $50, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals

Last Call Updates:

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Apple AirPort Express Dual-Band 802.11n Wireless Router (refurbished): $50 shipped (Orig. $99)

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13-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ Force Touch (newest) 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB: $1,280 shipped (Reg. $1,499)

13.3-inch MacBook Air (early 2014) 1.7GHz/8GB/512GB: $1,249 shipped (Orig. $1,849)

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GoPro HERO4 Silver waterproof action camera: $319 shipped (Reg. $400)

brother-airprint-inkjet-deal

All-in-One AirPrint Wireless InkJet Printers: Brother $50 shipped (Reg. $85+), Canon $68 shipped (Reg. $87)

Patio area and glass walls of modern home

Giveaway: $400 Belkin WeMo bundle including the new Lightify Starter Set, multiple winners

More new gear from today:

Logitech wireless Anywhere Mouse MX for Mac or PC $28 shipped (Reg. $60)

More deals still alive:

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App Store Free App of the Week: Nighty Night Circus kids’ bedtime story app ($3 value)

Get a free download of the AirPano Travel Book iOS app courtesy of Apple ($3 value)

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Western Digital 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive: $130 shipped (Orig. $200)

New products & more:

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SmartHalo adds simple smartphone-connected navigation to your bike’s handlebars

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Gears of War creator reveals the first gameplay footage for his new gravity-defying FPS

iPhone 6S will come in Apple Watch-like Rose Gold rather than Pink, lack sapphire, and have renamed Force Touch

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Earlier this year, reports began to suggest that Apple would launch the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in an additional color beyond the Space Gray, Silver, and Gold options that have been available in the popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s. Since then, there have been conflicting rumors regarding Apple’s color choice: some (including the Wall Street Journal) have claimed that the new iPhones would come in “pink,” while some analysts have referred to the color as “Rose Gold” (the discrepancy could be attributed to the similarity between colors). Today, our sources have confirmed that the new iPhones will actually come in a color that is unmistakably Rose Gold in both appearance and name…



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New photos give closer look at leaked iPhone 6S display panel

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New images have surfaced today giving us a closer look at the alleged next-generation iPhone display panel first revealed in earlier leaks (via MacRumors). The images don’t reveal any new information, but do give us a closer look at the part that appears to include new components thought to be related to the addition of Apple’s Force Touch display technology.

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iPhone 6S rumors: iOS 9 code indicates Force Touch keyboard gestures, sketchy ‘6S Plus’ packaging photo appears online

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As we approach the iPhone event, with invites very likely to go out to press shortly, we have more iPhone 6S rumors to discuss. Firstly, Hamza Sood has once again peeked into the iOS 9 source code and found references to ‘deep press’ gestures. This seems to confirm the existence of Force Touch in the new iPhones, which at this point is no surprise. Force Touch is widely assumed to be coming to all of the new iPhones and iPads Apple will announce this year. 9to5Mac reported that Force Touch will be used for various things across the OS: Sood found the Force Touch code reference in text selection code and appears to mean that a Force Touch gesture will activate the keyboard trackpad scrolling … a new feature for iPads in iOS 9.

A packaging photo has also leaked, although the validity is highly questionable. It appears to show packaging for the iPhone 6S Plus …



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9to5Toys Last Call: Retina MacBook Pro $1,100, Toshiba 2TB Portable HDD $70, AirPano for iOS free download, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals

Last Call Updates:

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Back to school gift guide: essential tech gear every student should be using

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Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display (newest) 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB: $1,100 shipped (Reg. $1,299)

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Toshiba Canvio Connect 2TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive in Red $70 shipped (Orig. $130)

airpano-iphone-app

Get a free download of the AirPano Travel Book iOS app courtesy of Apple ($3 value)

logitech-powershell-sale-deal

Logitech Powershell controller 1500mAh battery case for iPhone 5/5S/iPod Touch: $9 Prime shipped

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$100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 with free shipping (15% savings)

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Giveaway: Jaybird’s new X2 Bluetooth earbuds are the ultimate workout counterpart ($180 value)

More new gear from today:

aukey-a2-power-bank-deal

Aukey Power Banks w/ Prime shipping: Dual USB 10000mAh $10 (Reg. $20), 3000mAh $6 (Reg. $10), more

More deals still alive:

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Belkin Ultimate Pro Bluetooth iPad Air 2 Keyboard Case w/ backlit keys: $75 shipped (Reg. $150), more

canon-refurb-t5-lens-kit-deal

Canon T5 DSLR w/ 18-55mm lens kit (refurb w/ 1 yr warranty): $250 shipped (Orig. $549)

New products & more:

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The iBackPack Indiegogo project is loaded with all the back-to-school technology you can imagine

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Nintendo’s fall release plans revealed: Super Mario Maker bundle, Star Fox Zero, Mega Yarn Yoshi, more

What will September’s new iOS 9-based Apple TV bring to the living room?

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Apple plans to hold one of its annual fall media events on Wednesday, September 9th to introduce the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with Force Touch, and after many fits and starts, it appears that the long-awaited next-generation Apple TV will also be unveiled. We’ve been reporting on this upcoming model since 2014, as Apple has been planning to update its set-top-box with support for an App Store for quite some time.

Earlier this year, Apple had locked in a June WWDC debut for both the new Apple TV hardware and software upgrades, but the company ultimately decided to delay the introduction until the fall. While some had speculated that the announcement was pushed back due to a lack of content deals, we are told that the delay was internally attributed to a concern over compromising iOS 9 engineering resources, as the latest OS release is focused at least as much on polish as on new features.

Why would the new Apple TV potentially take away resources from iOS 9? According to sources, this new Apple TV model, codenamed J34, will be the first model to run a full-blown iOS core. Specifically, the new Apple TV operating system will be a TV-optimized version of iOS 9. In addition to the new hardware inside, running iOS 9 will give the new Apple TV a series of benefits over the current model. Below, we explore what users can expect from Apple’s next-generation living room product.



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Apple Bluetooth LE 4.2 ‘Magic Mouse 2’ & new Wireless Keyboard hit the FCC

Screenshot 2015-08-15 11.57.57

It appears plans for future Apple wireless accessories have (again) been spoiled by the FCC. According to a pair of filings that hit the organization’s website yesterday, Apple is preparing to soon debut new versions of its Bluetooth Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard. According to images indicating the FCC label location on the accessories, the new mouse will be called the “Magic Mouse 2.” As for the new wireless keyboard, there are no indications of a name change as of yet.



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Opinion: No, Force Touch isn’t going to be iPhone 6S’s signature feature

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Every time Apple is expected to release an S-series iPhone — the 3GS, the 4S, the 5s, and now the 6S — pundits rush to discount the value of each anticipated new feature, claiming that it won’t be enough to boost iPhone sales. Yet historically, every prediction of iPhone sales peaks or declines has been wrong: each iPhone, whether a big “tick” or small “tock” on Apple’s upgrade schedule, has outsold its predecessors. Even without form factor or screen changes, speed sold the iPhone 3GS, Siri boosted the 4S, and Touch ID and camera improvements helped the 5s. (In S years, improved distribution, new color options, and price and capacity tweaks have made a big difference, too.)

This week, analysts and pundits have co-opted my colleague Mark Gurman’s scoop that Force Touch on the iPhone 6S will be used for shortcuts across iOS, suggesting that Force Touch isn’t going to be exciting enough to make people upgrade. That’s true, but also so obvious as to be ridiculous: Apple certainly won’t pitch a pressure-sensitive screen as the iPhone 6S’s marquee new feature. Force Touch debuted in the Apple Watch, but it’s not even mentioned on the first Apple Watch page on Apple.com, instead showing up in the fifth paragraph of the “Technology” page. It’s similarly found only paragraphs down on the page of the 12″ MacBook where it made its Mac debut.

With the notable exception of the iPad mini 3, Apple never releases new devices with only one new feature to hook customers. Even a month before it’s announced, it’s a virtual certainty that the iPhone 6S will arrive with camera improvements and faster processors, most likely a new color option, and Force Touch as one of many small but nice additions. So long as Apple gets distribution and international pricing right, the iPhone 6S is going to do just fine…



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KGI predicts zero or negative growth for next iPhone, citing weak Chinese economy and limited appeal of Force Touch

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KGI – which has an excellent track record – has predicted a strong possibility of either zero or negative growth of iPhone sales in Q4 2015. The investment note cited by Taiwanese site Apple Daily (via GforGames) forecasts that Apple will sell between 65M and 75M iPhones, compared to 74.5M in the same quarter last year.

We predict iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S could be the first S-series models to see flat or lower shipments versus their predecessors.

KGI bases its pessimistic prediction on two factors. First, the weak state of the Chinese economy. Second, the very same argument I made in my opinion piece yesterday: that the headline feature of the iPhone 6S, Force Touch, doesn’t seem likely to wow customers … 

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Force Touch on iPhone 6S revealed: expect shortcuts, faster actions across iOS

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While Force Touch on the Apple Watch allowed Apple to add an additional layer of buttons to a small display, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus screens don’t lack for either real estate or buttons. So why would Force Touch be desirable on larger displays? Following up on our May report that Force Touch is coming to Apple’s next iPhones, sources who have used the iPhone 6S have provided new details on how Force Touch works and feels under iOS.



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