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How to get 3D Touch functionality and Live Photos on your iPhone 6

Published Oct 16th, 2015 12:49PM EDT
iPhone 6 Jailbreak 3D Touch Live Photos
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

3D Touch is the main new feature on the iPhone 6s, offering iOS users ways to navigate apps and multitasking even faster than before (you can, however, turn it off without hindering your iPhone 6s experience). But because 3D Touch needs special hardware components to work, including a unique sensor array in the display and a Taptic Engine, the feature is not backward-compatible. Apple can’t just use software to enable it on the iPhone 6 or older models. Live Photos is another feature unique to the iPhone 6s, transforming simple photos into vivid memories that feature video and sound.

Well guess what: There are now ways to bring these two unique iPhone 6s features to iPhone 6 and older devices, but there are some caveats you should be aware of.

DON’T MISS: 10 hottest iPhone 6s cases we’ve found so far

First off, as 9to5Mac reports, you need to jailbreak your iOS 9 device to enable these features, as they require third-party apps that Apple would never allow in the App Store. You can jailbreak any iOS 9 device (here’s how to do it), but you should know this procedure comes with certain risks.

An app called Forcy brings 3D Touch features to old hardware, but it’s not going to let you use force to enable actions. Instead, the app relies on swipes on an app icon to enable 3D Touch shortcuts. A vibration effect has also been added to the app, so it better replicates the Taptic engine’s role on the iPhone 6s, but don’t expect similar behavior. As for in-app actions like Peek and Pop, these aren’t yet available.

For Live Photos, you’ll need the Flex tweak that lets you download a patch to enable the feature on older iPhones. The actual recording of Live Photos isn’t hardware-dependent on the iPhone 6s models. But to view the result you’d have to 3D Touch a Live Photo, which is one reason for Apple to not include it on other phones.

Once the patch is applied on a jailbroken iPhone, users would be able to record Live Photos, and then play them with a long, force-less, press.

Forcy is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repo in the Cydia app store, while Flex costs $3.99. If you already have it, then the EnableLivePhotos patch is free of charge.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.