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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wish List: 3D Touch in Control Center

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

3D Touch

It’s been a couple weeks since the release of Apple’s newest generation of iPhones, and I’m still training myself to use 3D Touch. Not that the feature isn’t useful, mind you, but eight years of muscle memory is a tough thing to overcome.

That said, I think that 3D Touch is an awesome enhancement to iOS; I just wish that Apple had seen fit to use it in more places. In particular, I–and many of our readers, if my emails and Twitter replies are any indication–would love to see 3D Touch in use in iOS’s Control Center.

I’ve already made my frustrations with Control Center well known, but the addition of 3D Touch provides the perfect framework with which to address several of those issues. Now that Apple has established the interface convention of the Quick Actions pop-up menu, it wouldn’t be out of place to offer such a menu when pressing the Wi-Fi icon in Control Center, where it could provide a list of the nearest and most powerful Wi-Fi networks (or the ability to connect to a VPN). Or pressing on the Bluetooth icon to provide a list of devices to connect to. Even the ability to jump directly to those specific sections of the Settings app would be a handy time-saver.1

The quick launch apps at the bottom could also benefit from 3D Touch, even if it just meant showing the same Quick Action options available for those apps from the Home screen–starting a timer, for example, or quickly jumping to selfie mode in Camera. (I’d still prefer to be able to swap in my own choice of apps in those slots, but my breath capacity isn’t that great.)

Many of these scenarios are for the more fiddly among us, but let’s be honest: 3D Touch seems designed for just those kinds of users. This is a power feature, not unlike keyboard shortcuts–something for users to discover.

The good news is that 3D Touch is young, and while Apple has given us solid examples about things that it can do, there’s plenty of room for it to evolve and spread throughout the rest of iOS.

  1. Honestly, I’m surprised that the Settings app itself doesn’t have any Quick Actions associated with it. I frequently want to jump to specific sections. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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