Don't hold your breath for "3D Touch" in Android N

If, for some reason, you were quite excited to see Android's version of the 3D Touch feature popularized by Apple, you might want to stop holding your breath. Or, if you prefer, be prepared to hold it for a bit longer. Earlier previews of Android N, which is still to be formally named, by the way, held clues that Google was indeed planning on such a feature for the next Android release. "Was" being the operative word here, as now sources claim the feature, which has yet to be formally named as well, isn't coming so soon anymore.

There is still some debate about the usefulness, or rather the importance, of 3D Touch, even among the usually faithful Apple camp. 3D Touch, which first and so far only appeared on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, is an evolution of the Force Touch Apple introduced in the likes of the Apple Watch and some of its MacBook trackpads. In a nutshell, 3D Touch is able to distinguish between different levels of pressure applied to the screen and provides different actions or features appropriately. In the most common cases, it pops up some more options when you hard press on an icon on the home screen.

Documentation for Preview #2 of Android N, followed by some sample implementation, hinted at a similar feature coming to Android N, the next version of Android slated to launch in a few months, July at the earliest. It would most likely be paraded as an example of Android copying iOS yet again, but Android fans will probably not care anyway. They might, however, care that Google is allegedly backtracking on that feature, at least temporarily.

The sources who dropped this bombshell offered no reason for the delay. We can only presume, then, the usual excuses of refinement and bug fixing. The 3D Touch feature could still come within Android N's lifetime, but probably at a later release. By then, some OEMs, especially Chinese ones, would already be using their own implementations. That wouldn't exactly be new to Android fans either. It was only with Android 6.0 Marshmallow that the platform would get official support for fingerprint scanners, when a lot of OEMs, including bigshots like Samsung, were already using one.

VIA: Re/code