May I take a second to be a tad contrarian, M.G.?[1]

Love the 6s upgrade to bits — for me, it’s all about speed speed speed. The camera activates instantly, even with iCloud Photos turned on. (A first for me!) Moving between apps is fast. The iPhone finally feels like it works at the speed at which I can navigate (its only hindrance now is slowness of animation (which I suspect is there it hide some of the app loading time …)). I’m rarely waiting for anything. Perfect. Speed, for me, trumps all. (I carry an external battery thingy so battery life is sort of moot.)

The camera is gorgeous. And fast.

Touch ID is almost too fast! (I’m finally using notification center to check notifications because I always miss them on the lock screen.)

BUT! I’m not super into 3D Touch 😳😱

I like it in theory. But but the praxis of touch has yet to convince me of its necessity. I find I don’t need to “peek” into links in my browser and the dissonance between a tap and a hard press is a bit too subtle for me. Lots of link taps simply don’t activate, instead caught between tap and peek. Maybe I’ve been a hard presser my whole life, but it means I have to tap things twice, thrice to go to the link.

Peek and Pop into mail also feels like one of those great-to-demo not-great-everyday features. A one line summary usually tells me if I need to open a message and is faster. I like the [Peek]→[Swipe-Up/Left/Right] Street Fight II style double combo of UX to forward, save, archive, dismiss in various contexts, but I can’t imagine most normal users discovering or knowing how to use that.

Which is the main point: it’s feels a little too delicately implemented to be discovered and understood for the masses. (I imagine lots of people are discovering by accident and not knowing what’s going on.) It really is a right-click. Great for us power folk but I can’t help but feel not-so-great for the average user.

Try to swipe back on a webpage and accidentally activate task switching. Try to swipe-task-switch one app back and you accidentally activate selection mode. Maybe I’m just a horrible presser, bereft of the motor skills to be a 3D Touch Master. But I can’t help but feel it adds more confusion and muddle than usefulness to an otherwise pretty whittled down interaction model.

Which is not to say it won’t produce tremendous value in the months / years going forward. I love that it exists as a potential mode of interacting with these pieces of glass. And I use hard (3D?) presses on my MacBook Pro to look up words in the dictionary dozens of times a day. But of all the greatness this [s] update has brought the iPhone (and I actually consider this [s] update a better update than the 5 → 6 update!), for me, 3D Touch is at the bottom of the stack.

[1] p.s., That “M.G.” was not meant to evoke “dad speak” or “child tone” but rather was me testing out the @{username} function.

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