10 3D Touch tips for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

How to get the most out of 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

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3D Touch will change how we use our iPhones

3D Touch is one of the biggest changes to happen to mobile interfaces in quite a long time. It has the potential to significantly change how we use our iPhones each day. But since it’s so new it can be a little confusing for users.

Not to worry, in this slideshow I’ll show you how to get the most out of 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

Here’s what’s in this 3D Touch slideshow:

How to adjust 3D Touch settings
How to take a selfie
How to enter the multitasking screen
How to peek at Mail messages
How to peek at an image in Photos
How to activate a Live Photo wallpaper on your lock screen
How peek at a video in a message
How peek at a pin in Maps
How peek at songs in albums in the Music app
How to turn your iPhone’s keyboard into a trackpad

1 adjust 3d settings
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How to adjust 3D Touch settings on the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus

3D Touch comes with Medium as the default setting. But you can easily change this by doing the following:

1. Tap on Settings
2. Tap on General
3. Tap on Accessibility
4. Tap on 3D Touch
5. You can change the setting to Light, Medium or Firm

I opted for the Light setting, which means that it requires less pressure to activate 3D Touch on my iPhone 6s. The 3D Touch settings menu will let you experiment by pressing on an image to see which setting works best for you and is most comfortable for your fingers.

2 3d touch selfie
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How to use 3D Touch to take a selfie

3D Touch makes it very quick and easy to take a selfie on the iPhone 6s or 6 Plus. Here’s how you can take a selfie via 3D Touch:

1.   Just press down on the Camera app icon on your home screen.
2.   A menu will appear and at the top you’ll see the “Take Selfie” option.
3.   Tap on Take Selfie.

Once you tap on Take Selfie, the camera app will automatically open with the front camera activated. So you can quickly take your selfie without having to manually switch the camera.

You also have the option to Record Video, Record Slo-mo, or Take Photo when you press down on the Camera icon on the home screen.

3 enter multitasking screen
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How to use 3D Touch to enter the multitasking screen

3D Touch offers a very quick way to get to the multitasking screen on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. But it can be a bit tricky the first time you try to use it.

Here’s how you can access the multitasking screen via 3D Touch:

1.   Push down on the left side of your screen.
2.   Push down again until you feel a pop and see the multitasking screen.

You might mess it up the first time or two, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Note that if you push down on the left side of your screen, hold and swipe to the right you can move to your previously used app. This is where some folks get confused as they try to access multitasking and end up moving between apps instead.

Don’t let it throw you. Once you get used to doing it, you can easily access the multitasking screen with 3D Touch or opt to move between apps. It’s one of those situations where practice makes perfect!

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How to use 3D Touch to peek at Mail messages

3D Touch functionality has also been added to Apple’s Mail app. To preview a message in mail, just press down on it from the Inbox screen. A preview will popup and you have the option of pressing down again to open that message.

Note also that when peeking at a mail message, you can also scroll down to Reply, Forward, Mark, Notify Me or Move Message. So 3D Touch makes it very fast to see and act on your mail messages right from the inbox screen.

5 peek at photos
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How to use 3D Touch to peek at an image in Photos

3D Touch lets you quickly peek at any image in the Photos app. Just press down on it and you can preview the image. But note that you can also Copy, Share, Favorite or Delete an image while peeking at it.

I’ve found that using 3D Touch in Photos can be a real time-saver. As I’m scrolling through a huge list of images, something will catch my eye every once in a while. By pressing down on it, I can quickly share it or make it a favorite, or in some cases just delete it altogether.

And the great thing is that 3D Touch lets you do all of this without actually opening the image while you are using the Photos app on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

6 animate live photo
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How to use 3D Touch to animate a Live Photo wallpaper on your lock screen

Live Photos is a neat new feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. With Live Photos you’ll see about three seconds of animation when you press down on a photo. But did you know that you can use a Live Photo as your lock screen wallpaper? And yes, it will animate if you press down on it.

To use a Live Photo as your lock screen wallpaper, just do the following:

1.   Tap on Settings
2.   Tap on Wallpaper
3.   Tap on Choose a New Wallpaper
4.   Tap on Photos
5.   Tap on your Live Photo
6.   Tap on Set then tap on Set Lock Screen

Now your Live Photo will appear on your lock screen.

To see your Live Photo animate, just press down anywhere on your lock screen.

Live Photos add a whole new wrinkle to lock screen wallpaper!

I used a Live Photo of one of my parrots, and it’s quite funny to see her moving on my lock screen when I press down on it. Live Photos as lock screen wallpaper can be a fun way to freak out people who don’t know about that feature, they never expect to see your lock screen wallpaper move!

7 peek video in message
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How to use 3D Touch to peek at a video in a message

Sending videos to friends and family via iMessage is always a fun thing to do. But with 3D Touch you can now peek at videos in any message on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

Here’s how you can do it:

1.   Press down on the video and it will pop up and start to play.
2.   To make the video full-screen, press down on it again.

Using 3D Touch to quickly peek at videos in messages is a great way to get a taste of the video without having to open it completely. And since another press opens it full-screen, I’ve found myself using peek frequently rather than opening the video full-screen by default.

8 peek pin maps
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How to use 3D Touch to peek at a pin in Maps

3D Touch also works in Apple’s Maps app on the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. One very helpful aspect of this is the ability to peek at a pin in Maps. To peek at a pin in Maps, just press down on the pin and a menu will pop up. You can get Directions, Call, Open the Homepage or Share Location.

I did this with the White House in Washington DC and it worked great. It makes it very easy to access a particular place in Maps and then get all the additional information you need to get there or contact them. And it’s great to be able to share the location with your friends and family if you want to do so.

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How to use 3D Touch to peek at songs in albums in the Music app

Apple’s Music app has also added 3D Touch functionality for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Here’s how you can peek at songs in albums in the Music app:

1.   Find the album you want to peek at in Music.
2.   Press down on the album.
3.   You’ll see a list of songs that are in the album.
4.   While peeking, slide up and you can also access the Play, Shuffle and Remove From My Music control buttons at the bottom of the peek window.

You can also press down again to enter that album and leave the peek window. 3D Touch is a very fun way to interact with your music, particularly if you are scrolling through a list of your albums and just want a quick way to play one or shuffle-play one without leaving the list.

10 turn keyboard into trackpad
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How to use 3D Touch to turn your iPhone’s keyboard into a trackpad

3D Touch also lets you move your cursor in a document via your keyboard. Here’s how you can use it.

1.   Open the document you want to edit.
2.   Press down and hold on the keyboard of your iPhone 6s or 6 Plus.
3.   The keyboard will gray out a bit and you can now move the cursor to any part of the text of your document.

This is a terrific way of using 3D Touch, it makes it incredibly fast and easy to move your cursor anywhere in your document. It basically turns your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus keyboard into a trackpad.

I’ve found that moving the cursor around this way sped things up considerably as I was doing edits on documents. Once you get used to using 3D Touch to turn your iPhone keyboard into a trackpad, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. It’s so much easier to move the cursor around in your documents.