Top 3D Touch Tips: Some of Our Favorite iPhone 6s Features

3D Touch is the main new feature that sets the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus apart from older models, allowing users to access extra features when they press harder on the touchscreen. Here, we've put together our favorite 3D Touch tips, from teaching you how to preview emails and texts without opening them to quickly finding the definition of specific words or accessing contact options directly from a profile picture.

1) Adjust 3D Touch Sensitivity

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Some users are finding either they have to press really hard to activate 3D Touch or they find it to be too responsive and end up summoning it without meaning to. Adjust sensitivity by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch and adjust the sensitivity to your liking.

2) Read Messages Without Triggering a Read Receipt

Avoid triggering a read receipt in Messages by using 3D Touch to peek into a message. Just firmly press on the Message from the main screen and a preview pane will pop up allowing you to read it. 

3) Preview Emails Without Opening Them

To quickly peek at an email in Mail, firmly press on an email preview in your inbox. Without lifting your finger, swipe left to delete the email and right to mark it as unread. You can also swipe up to see various other options such as Reply, Forward, Move Message, and more.

4) 3D Touch a Word for Its Definition

If you come across an unfamiliar word while using your iPhone, you can get the definition by firmly pressing on the word you want to define to highlight it. You’ll then automatically be presented with a tab with several options—tap Define to automatically pull up a definition of the word.

5) “Right Click” App Icons

When you firmly press any 3D Touch-enabled app icon from the Home screen, Quick Actions will reveal a menu of common app functions, such as quickly taking a selfie via the Camera app or texting a friend via the Messages app.

6) Open the App Switcher Without Using the Home Button

In the past, the only way to access the multitasking window was to double click the Home button. With 3D Touch, you can now firmly press the left side of the screen and swipe to the right. Swiping to the middle of the screen opens the app switcher. Swiping all the way across opens the previous app.

7) Use 3D Touch to Peek at Web Pages without Actually Opening Them

You can use 3D Touch to preview webpages in Safari without actually opening them by firmly pressing the link. A preview window with appear. Swipe up if you want to view a menu of further actions, such as opening the link in a new tab, copying it, or adding it to your Reading List. 

8) 3D Touch a Profile Picture for Quick Contact Options

Don’t search for your friend’s contact information every time you want to call or message them. In apps like Phone or Messages in which the circle containing a contact’s initials or image appears, you can firmly press the contact circle to bring up a quick menu of options for getting in touch. 

9) Sketch Dark and Light Lines in Notes

You can sketch dark or light lines in the Notes app depending on how firmly they press on the screen as they draw. To try this feature out for yourself, open up the Notes app and start a new note. Select the Sketch icon, select a color and one of the tips, and then start sketching. 

10) Quickly Select and Edit Text in Notes

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad and use your finger to highlight words you need to edit by firmly pressing on the keyboard. Guide the cursor with your finger to the text you want to edit. Press harder to select the text and then slide your finger along the words to increase your selection.

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Rheanne Taylor's picture

Rheanne Taylor is the associate editor of iPhone Life magazine. In her spare time Rheanne is an avid iPhoneographer who loves trying out the latest apps and gadgets for her iPhone camera. She recently graduated with her BA in literature and writing from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.