iPhone 6s upgrade: adds 3D Touch and Live Photo

Apple’s update of its bestselling smartphone

Image: Hugh Threlfall

After consorting with the latest iPhone for a few weeks I can reveal that it’s much more of an advance than the usual biennial S upgrade. It may not look any different from the 6, but as a business tool it has some not inconsiderable improvements.

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Principal among these is 3D Touch. Nearly eight years ago, the iPhone brought tapping, swiping and pinching into the world; now the screen on the 6s senses and interprets how hard you are pressing – something pioneered on the Apple Watch. This brings another dimension to how we interact with our pocket computers (still called phones for reasons becoming increasingly retro). A light touch of the screen gives you a useful peek of something like an email or a feature on a map; increase the pressure and the content snaps to full screen with a tangible, haptic pop. This may sound piffling but, trust me, it makes a significant difference to your daily life.

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Among other tiny-but-huge improvements, there’s a brilliant new way for clumsy typists to correct their words. Try it and see. Oh and Apple has reinvented the still photo to include, if you wish, 1.5 seconds of video and sound from before and after you press the “shutter button”. I’m not yet sold on this Live Photo feature, but it’s certainly clever.

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