The trouble with 3D Touch

Jason Snell isn’t entirely happy with 3D Touch:

Although Apple’s proud of the peek/pop interface that it unveiled with the iPhone 6s, I’m skeptical of its utility. Most of the time, when I accidentally initiate a “peek” of the content behind whatever I’m pressing on, it’s content I was already trying to see by tapping. Loading a “peek” doesn’t really take any more time than actually tapping on an item and loading the result, and returning back to the previous screen seems a lot less work than holding your finger on the glass while you peruse a “peek” to see if it’s worth opening the rest of the way.

In other words, most of the time I don’t see any benefit to using 3D Touch to reveal content in apps over just tapping to reveal that content the usual way. It’s a solution to a problem we didn’t have.

That’s exactly what I was thinking when Apple announced the feature last fall: “Why the hell would anyone use “peek” when I might as well just click through?” Back then I hadn’t had a chance to try the feature for real and was certain to have missed something, but it would seem that initial skepticism was right.

Jason goes on to propose a simple fix for 3D Touch – make it backwards-compatible with the majority of the iPhone install base:

That’s why the right thing for Apple to do is to change the behavior of 3D Touch in a future version of iOS so that it has a non–3D-Touch equivalent. In other words, 3D Touch should just be a faster, more efficient version of a gesture that every iOS user can perform. That way, users of devices with 3D Touch will get a benefit, but app developers don’t have to think about implementing a feature that won’t work with most devices.

Sounds about right to me.

More Chinese Mobile UI Trends

At the end of 2014 Dan Grover posted a fascinating article about Chinese Mobile UI Trends. The article was a revelation to me, because the Chinese app market is an environment that is largely impenetrable to most westerners, and in addition to that, it’s also remarkably secluded from western internet giants like Google and Facebook and could therefore develop in ways that are distinctly different from western app design trends.

Luckily Dan followed up his first article with another one describing even more Chinese mobile UI trends and it’s just as fascinating as the first one.

Recommended Reading: I helped eight people end their lives. By the time you read this, I’ll have ended mine

A chilling and fascinating account that made shivers run down my spine:

Between 1999 and 2001, I helped eight people die—including the poet Al Purdy. Now, as I prepare to take my own life, I’m ready to tell my story I met the Québécois filmmaker Claude Jutra in 1963, when he visited McMaster University for a showing of his first feature, À tout prendre.

Read “I helped eight people end their lives. By the time you read this, I’ll have ended mine”

Recommended Reading: My Little Sister Taught Me How To “Snapchat Like The Teens”

I just read and enjoyed this:

I’m 29 years old, and I’ve been on Snapchat for about a year now. I post fairly often (usually on my Story), and I get a decent amount of engagement from my friends. Quite honestly, up until Thanksgiving, I thought I was pretty good at Snapchat. Then I watched my little sister on Snapchat.

Read “My Little Sister Taught Me How To “Snapchat Like The Teens””