Apple watchOS 7 is phasing out Force Touch

Cal Jeffrey

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In a nutshell: Apple is phasing out the Force Touch feature of Apple Watches. Starting with watchOS 7, developers who use that functionality are urged to find a different means. The removal also hints that the upcoming Series 6 will be stripped of the hardware that allows it. This may mean slightly thinner watches or perhaps larger capacity batteries or other features.

During the WWDC, Apple outlined features coming to watchOS 7. The wearable's next operating system is getting new faces with more customizable complications, a sleep app, improved fitness app, and a lot more (video recap below).

Perhaps what is more interesting than what's coming to the new Apple Watch software is what is going away. An update to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines indicates that watchOS 7 will no longer support Force Touch.

"In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could press firmly on the display to do things like change the watch face or reveal a hidden menu called a Force Touch menu," the guide reads. " In watchOS 7 and later, system apps make previously hidden menu items accessible in a related screen or a settings screen. If you formerly supported a long-press gesture to open a hidden menu, consider relocating the menu items elsewhere."

MacRumors notes that several native apps have already changed their functionality in watchOS 7 beta to reflect the soon to be disabled gesture. The app layout screen, Calendar, and Activity app options have been moved to the Settings app. The face customization menu is now accessed via a long press.

The move away from capacitive Force Touch follows its removal from iOS with the release of the iPhone XR. Instead, Apple switched to a "Haptic Touch" system that activates after a long press rather than when pressure is applied to the screen.

Apple has not officially voiced the reasons for the change, but it seems likely that the Apple Watch Series 6 will lack that Force Touch hardware out of the box. Presumably, removing the capacitive layer beneath the screen will bring production costs down or allow more room for other features, such as a larger battery or an under-screen fingerprint scanner. I don't know about you, but I sure don't enjoy fumbling with my passcode on that tiny watch screen.

Whatever the case, we'll have to wait for the Series 6 unveiling this fall to see what Cupertino does with the extra space.

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Cal Jeffrey

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Wish they would come out with a ROUND watch ;)
Agreed. A round option would be nice.

EDIT: Just wanted to add since it looks like you and @QuantumPhysics own Apple watches, what do you think about the removal of Force Touch?

Personally, I rarely used it on the iPhone, so have not missed it much there. I have used it on the watch, mainly to change complications, but other than that, not too much. As long as devs have a suitable substitute, I don't think I'll even remember it being a thing in a year.
 
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p51d007

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Agreed. A round option would be nice.

EDIT: Just wanted to add since it looks like you and @QuantumPhysics own Apple watches, what do you think about the removal of Force Touch?

Personally, I rarely used it on the iPhone, so have not missed it much there. I have used it on the watch, mainly to change complications, but other than that, not too much. As long as devs have a suitable substitute, I don't think I'll even remember it being a thing in a year.
I've never owned an apple watch. It wasn't until just over 2 years ago, I got my first smartwatch, Samsung G3 Frontier. I just couldn't see the "need". When the price dropped, picked one up. The 2nd day I had it was an AHHHHHHH now I get it. Notifications alone were worth it! Not having to constantly pull my phone out of my case to see who was calling, email, text was well worth the price LOL.
Then, I started noticing my sleep tracking & heart rate at night, were way off. Heart rate SLEEPING would spike into the 90's! Talked it over with my doctor on a routine visit and had a sleep study. Yep, sleep apnea. Been on a CPAP since October. Amazing the difference!
 

neeyik

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I have a Series 5 and I’m happy to see Force Touch go: there are just too many interface mechanisms for such a small comms device: tap, long press, harder press (I.e. Force Touch), swipe, pinch, crown rotate, crown press, crown sensor, cancel button, shake, tilt, hand cover, and so on. Yes, a lot of these can be disabled, modified, or simply not used, but it took me far longer than anticipated to get to grips with using it.
 

Cal Jeffrey

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I've never owned an apple watch. It wasn't until just over 2 years ago, I got my first smartwatch, Samsung G3 Frontier. I just couldn't see the "need". When the price dropped, picked one up. The 2nd day I had it was an AHHHHHHH now I get it. Notifications alone were worth it!
Yes!!! And the sleep apnea heads up was cool too. lol
 

Cal Jeffrey

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Why not incorporate a higher capacity battery in the strap?
Dude! Quick! Go get a patent! Seriously. Why do we not have watchband battery packs? We have phone case battery packs, the concept is not radically different. the main thing would be that the Qi charger would have to be redesigned. With it residing on the back, something like an enclosed charging band would interfere with the rear sensors, but what if they designed the charger to be focused to where the band attaches? Hmmm.
 
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Reehahs

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Dude! Quick! Go get a patent! Seriously. Why do we not have watchband battery packs? We have phone case battery packs, the concept is not radically different. the main thing would be that the Qi charger would have to be redesigned. With it residing on the back, something like an enclosed charging band would interfere with the rear sensors, but what if they designed the charger to be focused to where the band attaches? Hmmm.
Unfortunately, I am not the first person to say this so I can't get a patent.
 
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Cal Jeffrey

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Unfortunately, I am not the first person to say this so I can't get a patent.
Saying and doing are not the same. Patents are like races. Doesn't matter who got out of the gate first. It only matters who gets to the finish line first. ;)
 

neeyik

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Samsung has already got there:

 
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Cal Jeffrey

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