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Home / News / Reach out and touch(screen): Android N will support pressure-sensitive displays

Reach out and touch(screen): Android N will support pressure-sensitive displays

Watch out, iPhone 6S - Google's got its own version of 3D Touch

Fingers at the ready: Android is on track to catch up with Apple later this year with support for pressure-sensitive screens.

The iPhone 6S arrived with 3D Touch last year, letting you prod your phone’s screen with a little more force to bring up shortcuts, peek into emails without opening the app fully, and generally get around iOS that little bit quicker. 

Now, it looks like Android N will follow suit.

The latest beta version of Android N added support for “launcher shortcuts”, which Google says let developers “define shortcuts which users can expose in the launcher to help them perform actions quicker.”

Basically, that’s a long-winded way of saying Google’s own version of 3D Touch is on the way. Google confirmed as such to The Verge last night.

Pressure-sensitive screens on Android phones aren’t unheard of: Huawei put one on the Mate S Premium, but had to do all the software coding itself. That ruled out using the screen for any third party apps – just the ones Huawei designed for it.

With support baked into Android, any developer will be able to add support for 3D touch – or whatever Google calls the tech to avoid stepping on Apple’s toes.

Phandroid proved it’s already up and running in the latest Android N beta, albeit with swipe gestures rather than through a pressure sensitive display (seeing as there aren’t any doing the rounds at the moment).

That doesn’t mean it’s a shoe-in for the next Nexus phone, though: we’ll have to wait until Google I/O in May to see if it will make the jump from beta to the full version of Android.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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