When the new iPhones come out later this week there will be a baker’s dozen worth of new features for fan boys to swoon over. Primarily, we’re talking about improved specs. A better camera, a better microphone, a faster Wi-Fi connection. Selfies will also be easier to take. The list goes on and on. But overall, the biggest take away from the list of improvements is going to be the two new signature features. You know, that one new function that is actually great enough to justify rolling out a whole new phone. Or so Apple thinks. Two years ago it was Siri. Last year it was the Fingerprint Sensor. This year it’s 3D Touch and Live Photos.
Of the two, 3D Touch has the ability to be the most revolutionary new aspect as it introduces us to a whole new way of interacting with our phones. By pressing down on our screens certain functionality will be enabled. Pressing down even harder will unlock even more features. For example, when you get a new email you can press down lightly to see a preview of it and then press down harder to open it all the way up. Pressing down hard on the camera icon will give you options to take a picture, selfie, regular video or slow motion video. The added functionality will depend on what app you’re using and not every app will be supported at first.
Ultimately, I can see this functionality becoming useful to those who wind up mastering it. The mobile phone equivalent of keyboard shortcuts. But then again I can see also a whole slew of people, already use to using their phones a certain way, who will just wind up ignoring 3D Touch entirely. That’s why I’m more excited about the second feature, Live Photos. By capturing a second and a half’s worth of footage before and after you take a picture your phone now has a quick and easy way to turn any still photo that you take into a live action gif. Essentially, this capability brings your photos to life just like the images in the Daily Prophet from the Harry Potter movies.
Like with most first generation products Live Photos isn’t a finished product yet. Slightly moving your phone before or after you take a picture basically ruins the effect, ambient noise gets captured even if you don’t want it to and you can’t share to social media yet, just with other iPhone users. But all of those kinks will get worked out eventually and in the end we’ll have a killer new product that we can’t live without even though we never even knew we wanted it in the first place. Sound familiar?
Is either 3D Touch or Live Photos the Greatest Idea Ever?