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How to Use the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR

How to Use Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR

3D Touch has been a neat feature on the iPhones, making it easier to activate certain actions — if you knew that 3D Touch even existed. In the iPhone XR, Apple drops 3D Touch for a new, different version — Haptic Touch.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It’s a definite departure from 3D Touch, both in how you access the feature and what you can use it to do. If you’re making the switch to an iPhone XR, here’s what you need to know about how to interact with Haptic Touch.—Henry T. Casey

How Haptic Touch works

Unlike 3D Touch — which required you to push harder on your iPhone screen than normal — Haptic Touch works when you hold your finger on the iPhone XR’s screen for a long press. Then, your finger will feel a slight vibration (haptic feedback), and you've performed a Haptic Touch.

What Haptic Touch is missing

The only downsides here are that you can't preview links, attached images and other items as you could with 3D Touch, and nor can you activate hidden features in app icons, which you once found with forceful 3D Touch presses. Now, if you try to do that on an iPhone XR, you'd just get the jiggly app icons with X's over each, for deleting and re-arranging apps on the phone’s screen.

Keyboard Cursor

iOS doesn't allow for a mouse, but it does give you a virtual cursor if you know where to look. This is especially important when you're writing in a field near the top of the screen, and want to jump to another part of your sentence, without having your finger leap to the top of your very tall phone.

Instead, just perform a Haptic Touch long press on the keyboard’s space bar, and watch your keyboard transform into a virtual touchpad. Then, you can slide a cursor all over where you're writing, saving you time.

Instant Flashlight  

Poking around your iPhone XR, while bumbling around in the dark? We've got you covered.

You won't need to unlock your smartphone (or even open the Control Center) to activate flashlight mode. With only two taps: one on the locked screen and a long, Haptic Touch, press on the flashlight icon, your iPhone XR is blasting a beam of light.

Faster Camera Unlock

When you need to snap a photo as fast as possible — kids, dogs and athletes move fast and crash quickly — you'll want to know how to use the Camera button on the iPhone XR's lock screen.

After tapping on the lock screen, hold a fingertip on the camera icon in the bottom right corner, for a long press. Once you feel that haptic feedback, you'll have activating the camera mode, and snapping photos.