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The 8 coolest iPhone 6s features you need to try today

September 25th, 2015 at 2:52 PM
iPhone 6s New Features

With an incredible array of new features, both on the hardware and software side, the iPhone 6s is arguably the most exciting iPhone upgrade we’ve seen in years. Thankfully, we haven’t yet seen any reports of Apple struggling to keep up with demand, which means that millions of users will be taking the wraps off new iPhone models this weekend.

With so many new features to explore, we thought we’d highlight a few of the more compelling, interesting, and downright fun iPhone 6s features that you need to take for a spin over the weekend.

DON’T MISS: iPhone 6s: The real reason you should be excited about Apple’s 2GB RAM bump

1. Start exploring with 3D Touch

Without question, 3D Touch is one of the more exciting new iPhone features we’ve seen in quite some time. The way 3D Touch works is seemingly simple but belies a whole log of engineering ingenuity. The iPhone 6s display comes packed with a number of high-tech sensors that can detect how much pressure is being applied to the screen. This of course opens up entire new avenues for user interaction.

That said, new iPhone owners should make sure to try out 3D Touch on Apple’s homegrown apps like Maps and Camera to truly see how much of a timesaver 3D Touch is. Also make sure to try out 3D Touch when browsing through your mail or when someone sends you a link via text. In these scenarios, 3D Touch will allow you to ‘peek’ at the incoming message with a hard press and ‘pop’ out the message with a harder press if you find it of interest.

2. Take a few Live Photos

Enabled by default, live photos is a new camera feature on the iPhone 6s that brings photos to life. The way it works is simple. Every time you take a photo, the iPhone records 1.5 seconds of footage before and after the picture was snapped. As a result, if you’re browsing through your photo library and deep press on a photo, you’ll see the seemingly still photo come to life in the form of a short 3-second video. Though not a new feature in the smartphone space, it’s a whole lot of fun and Apple’s implementation is expectedly clever.

3. Turn your iOS keyboard into a virtual trackpad

3D Touch strikes again. If you hard press on the iOS virtual keyboard, it will magically transform into a virtual trackpad. From there, it becomes incredibly easy to select and highlight text. You can check out video of this cool feature in action below.


4. Take a selfie

While we normally wouldn’t encourage anyone to take a selfie, the new iPhone 6s comes with a feature which promises to dramatically improve your selfie game. Here’s how it all works. Because the iPhone’s front-facing camera doesn’t have built-in flash, the device’s Retina Display will quickly emit a bright white flash in the milliseconds before a photo is taken. Coupled with the iPhone’s much improved 5 megapixel front-facing camera, selfies on the iPhone 6s might very well be the best you’ve ever taken.

Apple’s website adds:

When you snap a selfie, a preflash detects the lighting around you. Then a True Tone flash on the display matches the ambient light for a gorgeous shot with more true-to-life colors and more natural-looking skin tones. Retina Flash is powered by an innovative technology — a custom display chip that allows the display to flash three times brighter than usual.

5. Take 4K video

While you’re at it, go ahead and take some 4K video. If you thought 1080p HD was something to behold, well you haven’t seen anything yet. 4K video is absolutely breathtaking and transforms the iPhone 6s into a bonafide filmmakers tool. Now because 4K video eats up a whole lot of storage (375 MB of storage for every minute of footage), Apple doesn’t have it enabled by default. To turn it on, go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Record Video and then switch to 4K.

6. Try to bend it

Actually don’t, but you can rest easy knowing that even if you were to try and bend your new iPhone, you wouldn’t be able to on account of the device’s now sturdier Series 7000 aluminum construction.

7. Start using Siri

Siri may have gotten off to a rocky start, but believe me, Apple has really improved the software by leaps and bounds over the past few years. With the iPhone 6s, users can now activate Siri simply by stating “Hey Siri” at a moment’s notice. All the better, your iPhone doesn’t need to be plugged in for this feature to work thanks to the device’s brand new M9 Motion Compressor. Also cool is that the iPhone 6s will rely on individualized voice recognition to ensure that only you can call Siri into action.

8. Start using Reachability

While not a new feature, with so many users upgrading to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus from the iPhone 5s and older models, Reachability is worth highlighting. Now you might have noticed that Apple’s iPhone’s these days are huge. So huge, in fact, that some users have trouble accessing the upper portion of the display with their thumb.

The solution? Reachability. Simply double tap the home button twice (tap, not click) and the top half of the screen will magically slide down, instantly making it accessible to your thumb and keeping one-handed use alive and well. If not enabled, you can go to Settings > General > Accessibility to turn it on.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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