Later this month, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 8, a Galaxy S8-like phablet supposed to make us forget last year’s Galaxy Note 7 disaster, and restore Samsung’s phablet to its former glory. We already know almost everything there is to know about the handset, but a new report reveals one important detail: Samsung may have finally copied the iPhone 6s’ signature feature.
The iPhone 6s introduced a unique touchscreen display feature called 3D Touch, which offers users quick access to apps and system-wide shortcuts. 3D Touch is also available on the iPhone 7 and should be found on all future iPhones, including this year’s models.
3D Touch is the marketing name Apple gave to a display technology that senses touch pressure to trigger certain on-screen actions. It may have looked gimmicky to some, but 3D Touch was just one of the building blocks Apple developed well ahead of launching the iPhone it has wanted to make for years, a device whose screen occupies the entire front surface.
Fast forward to 2017, and Samsung launched a phone with an all-screen display well ahead of Apple. That was the Galaxy S8 that launched this spring, a phone that ditched the home button to extend the surface of the display — that’s what Apple will do with the iPhone 8 later this year.
A new report from The Korea Herald notes that the Galaxy Note 8, which inherits the Galaxy S8’s design, will come with a force touch display that’s also called “3-D touch.”
This feature will enable hidden menus and shortcuts to different features. 3D touch on an all-screen device should help phone makers with deal with the absence of a home button, a critical element for interacting with the phone. But it’ll also offer features that extend beyond replacing the home button.
The Herald says that the Note 8’s force-sensitive display will use the same solution that Samsung employed for the home button area of the Galaxy S8. But the report seems to suggest this iPhone-like 3D Touch gesture support will extend to the entire display, just as some Galaxy Note 8 rumors said in the past. Apparently, Samsung realized it needs this particular iPhone feature on its new smartphones as well.
That said, it’ll be interesting to see what 3D Touch features Samsung will build into the operating system. Unlike Apple, Samsung doesn’t also control the OS of its smartphones, and can only add features on top of what Google does with Android. Apple, meanwhile, included a variety of 3D Touch interactions in iOS since the iPhone 6s launched almost two years ago.