Android Q gets “3D Touch” pressure-sensitivity support

JC Torres - Apr 8, 2019, 2:10 am CDT
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Android Q gets “3D Touch” pressure-sensitivity support

There is only so much you can do on a touch screen. You can tap, tap and hold, tap and hold and drag, swipe, pinch, and rotate but that’s about it. A few years back, Apple introduced a new gesture called Force Touch, a.k.a. 3D Touch, that’s basically a deeper press than normal. Now it seems that Android Q will be getting that feature as a built-in gesture though the implementation details and requirements remain unknown.

The idea behind 3D Touch or Deep Press is that a different kind of action is taken when pressing harder on the display. Usually that means popping up a different kind of menu distinct from the normal “long press and hold” context menu. Android actually emulated that to some extent but used a longer press rather than a deeper one.

A code snippet in Android Q reveals that Google may have formally added support for the gesture calling it “Deep Press”. In theory, this means that all Android Q phones will be able to support the same action. In practice, however, there are still unanswered questions.

Android has actually been able to recognize pressure over an area but it hasn’t been widely used. Furthermore, implementations like Apple’s 3D Touch require pressure sensitive displays, which only a few manufacturers reportedly use. The tweet suggests it could also be related to machine learning, which isn’t that far off considering how much Google loves ML.

Android Q won’t be out until after a few months so there’s plenty of time to speculate or dig deeper on this feature. There might also be a chance it could come to the Pixel 4 first before any other OEM has the chance to adopt it.


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