Apple will reportedly include “Force Touch” technology in the next iPhone after introducing the pressure-sensitive panels in the Apple Watch and the new MacBook.
Force Touch lets users perform different actions depend on how hard they press on the screen. On the Watch, for instance, a firm press brings up more options in apps like Messages and Calendar. On the new MacBook, pressing hard on the trackpad performs actions that used to require a two-finger tap, such as getting a Wikipedia definition when selecting a word.
Sources now tell the Wall Street Journal that Apple will extend the technology to the next iPhone later this year. The report also claims that Apple will stick to the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but is testing a new pink color option.
Keep in mind that the Journal is citing supply chain sources, which aren’t always trustworthy. It’s not unusual for Apple to test new features and drop them before launch if they’re not ready, as the company has reportedly done with sapphire glass displays for the iPhone and advanced health tracking features for the Watch.
Still, if Apple has already managed to include Force Touch in two products, it makes sense for the company to expand it to more devices.
Why this matters: Force Touch is vintage Apple—the kind of technology that only seems obvious after it’s been invented. On the iPhone, perhaps users could have a pressure-sensitive keyboard, or more responsive touchscreen game controls. It could even be useful for copy and paste, letting users highlight a word with a firm press and then lightly drag to select a larger section. There’s plenty of potential here, so it’s not hard to imagine Force Touch as a headlining iPhone feature in 2015.