“Working with Corning, Apple created pliable iPhone cover glass. Swipe it, and the phone works the way it always has. But press it, and 96 sensors embedded in the backlight of the retina display measure microscopic changes in the distance between themselves and the glass. Those measurements then get combined with signals from the touch sensor to make the motion of your finger sync with the image on screen.
Some of this technology was first revealed in the Apple Watch, which has a feature called Force Touch. But 3D Touch is to Force Touch as ocean swimming is to a foot bath. Screen size makes a difference, but the software on the iPhone 6S has a liquid ease. Apply a tiny bit of pressure anywhere you want to explore something—a restaurant link inside a text, an 11 a.m. meeting invite buried in an e-mail—and a peek at the restaurant’s Web page or a window into your calendar hovers expectantly in the middle of the screen while everything else blurs into temporary opacity. Press a little harder, and what you’ve been peeking at pops fully into frame. Release your finger, and you’re right back where you started. Presto chango, no home button required.”