In just weeks, the new iPhone SE has already been highly praised for its combination of affordability and performance, something that seems to be a perfect combination during these trying times. It won’t be perfect for everyone, of course, and some iPhone power users will miss some of the functionality that the latest iPhone 11 series has to offer. It seems, however, that Apple may have also imposed an arbitrary limitation on the 2020 iPhone SE that has suddenly made it less perfect even in the eyes of its fans.
Apple introduced the idea of a “hard press” to bring up extra menus or functionality via the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch. For one reason or another, it decided to replace that with what it calls Haptic Touch, relying on a long press rather than a hard press to do the same. In terms of overall functionality, the two are the same. But for the new iPhone SE, Haptic Touch has one odd limitation.
Unlike its iPhone 8 look-alike, the iPhone SE uses the more modern Haptic Touch which thankfully works flawlessly in most cases. The only place it seems to trip up is on the lock screen or the notification center. According to numerous complaints, a long press on a notification doesn’t bring up the usual full content preview it does on other phones.
It may sound like a bug but, unfortunately, it is a feature or a mis-feature rather. A Reddit user reported the confirmation of an Apple Support representative while TechCrunch EIC Matthew Panzarino also says Haptic Touch on the iPhone SE 2020 is working as intended. In other words, Apple made a conscious decision to disable Haptic Touch in that one and only one case.
How it reached that decision is just as mind-boggling as the “bug” itself. It may also simply be a matter of software, as the iPhone Xr once exhibited the same limitation, only to be fixed in a later software update. iPhone SE owners and hopefuls may be hoping Apple will relent and do the same.