The iPhone 6s is the Sir Alex Ferguson of smartphones. It is Superman once the world’s been purged of kryptonite. It is the pizza you drunkenly ordered at 3am.
In other words: it is a surefire winner.
For Apple’s latest handset to not shift by the bucketload, Tim Cook would have had to make a major boo-boo while unveiling it two weeks ago. The iPhone 6 was the world’s best-selling smartphone. As was the iPhone 5s.
With the iPhone 6s, Jony Ive and co say they’ve finessed every aspect of an already great product to make it even better. Not sat on their laurels or chased the bandwagon in a never-ending specs war. Apple claims it has innovated, adding 3D Touch, a new 12-megapixel camera and the faster than ever A9 processor to what is already a supremely capable phone.
But on first glance, the 6s looks near-on identical to its predecessor. On every glance, in fact, little seems to have changed from the iPhone 6. Even when you get right up close and even inside its svelte aluminium casing, you’ll find a screen with the same resolution and as little as 16GB internal storage.
So what's changed? Is the iPhone 6s a truly innovative product despite looking the same on the outside? We've got the answers.
It’s just, ah! A 3D Touch, ah!
If it weren’t for 3D Touch, the iPhone 6s wouldn’t be all that different from its predecessor. This pressure-sensitive tech is the only iPhone 6s feature that’s genuinely new for owners of the handset. Something they couldn’t use before in a different guise, unless they’d already bought a new MacBook or Apple Watch. Like a proper fanboi.
3D Touch, or Force Touch as it used to be known, works by using haptic feedback. In normal speak, this means you’ll receive helpful vibrations as you navigate around the 6s’ touchscreen. The feature has evolved to become more than just a fancy right click too. It completely changes the way you interact with your phone by giving you options where you previously didn’t have any.
Take snapping a selfie, for example. Where you used to need to tap two different icons with intermittent loading times, this action has now been shortened to one firm press of the Photo app icon. Then you can leap right into triggering the shot. Instagram obsessives, rejoice!
3D Touch also has some supremely convenient uses with other native apps - the ones Apple makes itself.
You can can jump directly into a new email in Mail and open a new tab straightaway in Safari - shaving seconds off your smartphone navigation. In addition to skipping straight into everyday tasks, 3D Touch also offers up the ability to preview messages and emails, and even links within them. All you have to do is press down on them to read, and should you need to take further action, apply a little more pressure and you get transported into the task itself. Apple terms these Peek and Pop, and they’re a prime example of what the iPhone 6s is all about. Subtle change that you have to feel for yourself. Unless you’ve somehow managed to get hold of a limited edition 128GB Huawei Mate S, you won’t find these features in an Android phone.
3D Touch is a typically Apple innovation then, even in terms of how you customise it: you can’t. Even if you take Time-Lapse videos more often than you do Slow-Mo, the choice has been made for you.
Potentially, this feature will be even better when third-party app functionality kicks in. Imagine applying pressure in Real Racing 3 to speed up, just like you would gun the accelerator in real life.