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watchOS 7 will disable Force Touch on Apple Watches, indicating the end of technology

We have already dealt with this issue superficially in our second compilation of news not commented on by Apple at yesterday's event, but it is worth bringing it into the spotlight to deepen the situation: Force Touch die in watchOS 7.

After killing the 3D Touch of iPhones, Apple decided to follow the same path with its watches. A guideline in the watchOS 7 Human Interface Guidelines makes it very clear that touch-touch interaction will no longer be supported on the Apple Watch:

Firm touch and long touch. In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could touch and press the screen to perform actions such as changing the watch face or revealing a hidden menu, called the Force Touch Menu. In watchOS 7 and later, system applications will place previously hidden menu items on a related screen or a settings tab. If your app has a touch and hold gesture to open a hidden menu, consider relocating items from that menu to somewhere else.

watchOS 7 without Force Touch

The change has already generated some changes in certain areas of watchOS 7: the button to clear all notifications, for example, now appears at the top of the list; it is no longer possible to press the screen to make the option appear, as before.

Our reader Bruno Nascimento explained to us that in some cases, Apple made the same implementation of iOS, replacing the Force Touch with a long touch on the screen (which happens when you want to customize a display, for example). The tactile return still exists, but we have that delay bigger.

When viewing apps installed on the watch, the long touch does absolutely nothing when the view is on the list; when in grid, apps go into edit state and can be deleted (same behavior as the long touch on watchOS 6).

Of course we are still in the first beta version of watchOS 7 and a lot can change, but Bruno commented that in many apps there are no actions available with the long press, and that Apple simply put buttons / options at the bottom or top of the app , indicating the action previously taken by Force Touch, who knows in a move to make these actions better known, since Force Touch basically activates a hidden feature in the interface.

Check out some examples, shared by Bruno, that show new buttons indicating actions previously performed by Force Touch:

In effect, users who upgrade to watchOS 7 will completely lose support for Force Touch in their watches similar to what Apple has done with iPhones since iOS 13.

The difference, of course, is that Force Touch has always been a much more crucial element for the Apple Watch than the 3D Touch was on the iPhone: on a screen as small as watches, having an extra layer of interaction is an important element to expand the possibilities of the interface and exchange it for the long touch, as in iOS, may not be an ideal replacement, as well as adding more buttons.

The specific reason for the withdrawal is not yet clear: on iPhones, the 3D Touch was withdrawn (presumably) to take a few millimeters from the devices and because the feature was not widely used, two reasons that certainly do not apply to the Apple Watch or not, since Ma may be able to implement, perhaps, a larger battery because of this.

The fact that the technology is dead and, therefore, its hardware should naturally not be present in the future “Apple Watch Series 6”. There are those who mention that Ma is working on a digital reader embedded in the watch's screen (which would conflict with the Force Touch), but these are, for now, just rumors.

What about Macs?

With the death of 3D Touch and Force Touch, only one Apple product line remains with some technology sensitive to the pressure of touch: o Mac or, more precisely, the trackpads MacBooks Air and Pro.

Magic Keyboard of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro viewed from above

Following basic logic, one could bet that Apple will also eliminate MacBook technology in the near future. This, however, is highly unlikely: in its notebooks, the sensitivity is extremely important to simulate clicks on the trackpad, an interaction element that has been present since the invention of the mouse, basically, and that should not be replaced anytime soon.

Of course, Apple could just go back to using mechanical trackpads in its MacBooks. The (newly released) Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro has one, and it works great. This assumption, however, would sound like a step backwards: the current MacBook trackpads are basically perfect just the way they are, and that opinion seems to be shared by basically the entire technological world.

What do you think?


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