Apple rebrands ‘Force Touch’ to sound less creepy

Apple logo and WWDC on iPhone 6

John Karakatsanis/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Daniel Spiess/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

The feature is cool—its name was not.

When Apple debuted its Force Touch feature on the MacBook trackpad earlier this year, people pointed out that the name sounded a bit… violent. 

Apple apparently took the complaints to heart. At Wednesday’s event, the company announced the new iPhone 6S with similar tech but is calling it “3D Touch.” 

After Apple first announced Force Touch, many people were concerned with the implications of the phrasing—”Force Touch” sounds like particularly aggressive and unwanted behavior.

Now, the new crop of iPhones will have “3D Touch.” The screens on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be pressure sensitive, allowing the devices to sense three different kinds of pressure: a tap, a press, and a firmer press. Apple says iOS 9 will let you “peek” and “pop” into different content by using 3D Touch. Each level of pressure commands the phone to do something different, like shortcuts within each app.

For instance, you can access things like your camera or apps you use frequently directly from the home screen, or preview emails by pressing lightly on them. 

On stage at the event, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi even stumbled over 3D Touch—at one point he referred to it as Force Touch before he caught himself and said 3D Touch instead.

So, goodbye, Force Touch—you won’t be missed.

Photo via John Karakatsanis/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Daniel Spiess/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

Selena Larson

Selena Larson

Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.