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3D Touch was more useful than iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island

Published Apr 9th, 2023 9:24PM EDT
3D Touch vs. Dynamic Island
Image: José Adorno for BGR

Here’s a hot take: The 3D Touch feature, available on the iPhone 6S all the way through the iPhone XS, was more useful than iPhone 14 Pro’s new Dynamic Island. Six months after the iPhone 6S was unveiled, there were already tons of third-party apps supporting 3D Touch, but Dynamic Island still serves little to no purpose more often than not.

First of all, I was a huge fan of the 3D Touch feature. It added an extra layer of functionality for iPhone users. While the problem with this feature was that many iPhone owners didn’t know they could use it, power users could get so much out of it.

For example, 3D Touch led to Apple unveiling Live Photos, which is one of the most fun features Apple has ever launched. I love hearing the voice of a friend or family member in a specific moment from a few years ago. Not only that, but 3D Touch brought new mechanics with it as well, such as quick access to the selfie camera, making a post on Facebook, and even unlocking new game features. For Alto’s Adventure fans, 3D Touch was a literal game-changer.

And while the feature evolved throughout the years, ultimately, Apple decided to discontinue this extra layer of interaction and adapt some of these features to a long press gesture due to people being unfamiliar with it and the production costs involved.

Before the iPhone 14 Pro launched, I was very excited about the Dynamic Island. Six months later, I don’t think many developers have unlocked its potential. Even the Live Activities feature, released with iOS 16.1, wasn’t enough to change my mind.

In Brazil, for example, there are two main use cases for Dynamic Island: iFood and Uber. iFood is like Bolt or Uber Eats. A good use case for it is figuring out if my order is ready, and for Uber, if the driver is arriving soon.

Besides that, the Dynamic Island isn’t made for games and probably not even for social media. Sure, there are Apple Maps, Apple Music, the timer, and now MLB games. But it’s just not enough. More than having Apple implement features from its own products, I don’t think developers are embracing Dynamic Island as they did with 3D Touch.

Maybe when the iPhone 15 arrives with a new design, more people will start seeing the benefits of the Dynamic Island. But as the leaked iPhone roadmap shows, Apple plans to begin hiding its sensors under the panel, which could mean that Dynamic Island could be gone long before it becomes an indispensable part of the iPhone experience.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.