Clearing up the difference between Force Touch and 3D Touch
I browse the sub almost daily, and for a while I’ve been noticing a common misconception taking place, and it’s even more frequent since the discussion around the 11 Pro models removing 3D Touch has started to take place.
I’ve seen a lot of comments here stating that 3D Touch and Force Touch are the same thing, when this is just flat out incorrect. They are similar technologies but 3D Touch is more advanced than Force Touch, and the difference is reflected quite well in their names.
Force Touch, as seen in the MacBooks, Magic Trackpad 2 and Apple Watch is simply a sensor for how deep the surface is being pressed in the z-axis. This is known and acknowledged by almost, if not exactly, everyone here.
3D Touch also senses this pressure, which is where the similarity is. However, 3D Touch also accounts for x-axis and y-axis positioning on the display, as well as the z-axis depth. Or to put it more simply, **where** on the screen you’re force pressing. For example, to peek a certain link, or expose home screen actions for an app.
Force Touch does not account for that x and y axis positioning. When you Force Touch on your Apple Watch, it bears the same result no matter where on the screen you Force Touch. Hence 3D Touch is called so because it measures movement in 3 Dimensions, and Force Touch is called so because it only measures Force.
To answer some common points I see here:
*But I thought Force Touch only detects one level of pressure and 3D Touch detects more?*
This is completely **false**. Force Touch also detects multiple levels of pressure. You can test this yourself by Force Touching one of the scrubbers while watching a video on QuickTime, where the Fast Forward/Rewind has multiple speeds depending on how hard you press, or you can slowly Force Touch one of your Watch faces, and watch how it slowly retracts into the screen as you adjust the pressure level.
*But I was told they’re the same tech but with a fancy marketing name?*
Even if you disregard everything else in this post, this stance still makes no sense. If 3D Touch was just a marketing name, they would have moved the Mac and Apple Watch to this new name, as there would be no reason to not apply this same “marketing trick” to the other product lines.
I hope this clears up any confusion, and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. If you can think of any common misconceptions I’ve missed, let me know, and I’ll add them to the post.