Google's version of 3D Touch won't be ready for Android N release

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Google won't include native support for its 3D Touch-like software feature in Android N's first release. The feature, which has been coined Force Touch and 3D Touch by other manufacturers, was referenced in the Android N Developer Preview 2 documentation, but sources have said that the final version would appear in a maintenance update following Android N’s initial release.

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Android still not competing with Apple on pressure-sensitive display tech. / © ANDROIDPIT

I suspect that Google is prioritizing what it deems to be more 'critical' features of Android N with this decision. Google normally releases its Nexus devices alongside its latest Android software, but it seems that the new Nexus devices will miss out on this feature. The sources who spoke of the delay, as originally reported by re/code', suggested that the Nexus devices would receive this feature at a later date, providing their displays support it.

Force Touch allows mobile device displays to interpret variations in pressure intensity and duration, rather than simply when contact is made. Similar technology appeared in Apple’s iPhones 6s and 6s Plus and can be used to zoom into photos or preview app content, among other things.

A handful of Android devices do include the feature, such as the Huawei Mate S Luxury Edition, but Google is yet to fully integrate native support into Android. This means that OEMs are required to develop the software integration themselves, in addition to using specific display hardware, to make use of it. Unsurprisingly, very few Android manufacturers have pursued this.

Force Touch could have revolutionary implications for Android, similar to the way in which mouse input altered personal computing in the 80s (with the Apple Lisa Mouse) and 90s. By increasing the number of ways in which the Android system can interpret specific inputs, apps, games and the Android system itself could be completely transformed.

Are you disappointed that Force Touch won’t be ready for the next Android launch? Or do you think the feature is overrated, anyway? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • Exerosis Jul 24, 2016 Link to comment

    If you ask me... force touch is a load of crap... from a developer's standpoint... it's something we already had... yeah great... you can 'peek' and 'pop' we used to just do this via taps... and long taps... or double taps... the argument can be made better for things like tracking in a video... but we use to just do that via the y-axis of your drag... It adds complication... and another set of events to be needlessly fired... and it makes it that much more difficult for newcomers to figure things out. Maybe I'm being too harsh... but if you ask me... it's just stupid apple crap, I don't want it in Android one bit.

  • Alex May 13, 2016 Link to comment

    3 D touch seems not to be great because you may accidentally scratch up your screen !if you got sharp nails and Android has already had live wallpaper long long ago which is one its best feature Iwould say and still IOS does not have it!

  • Dean L. May 13, 2016 Link to comment

    This is something I have played with once with a display iPhone 6s. I was impressed and can see some usefulness with it. But wasn't able to part with my cash just yet. It is definitely changing how you interact with your phone. I'm considering this 3D/force touch to be a feature I would like to have in my next phone cause it appears to speed up how you interact with it.

  • Alex Simpson May 13, 2016 Link to comment

    3d touch is just a longpress. every iphone user i ask says that 3d touch is useless

  • Peter Harwood May 13, 2016 Link to comment

    Think this force touch is far to overated and can't see it ever catching on!

  •   31
    Deactivated Account May 13, 2016 Link to comment

    I really don't know what to think or expect about force touch... maybe it will be a killer feature, but your gonna have sell it to me ...

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