How to use Quick Actions with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 25 Sep 2015

Apple hails 3D Touch as, “The next generation of Multi‑Touch.” No longer are taps and swipes the main facets to a touch-screen device. 3D Touch was designed to make moving around your iPhone sharper, faster, and more intelligent than previous generations. You can now Peek to preview an email or use Quick Actions to get what you need to get done faster all with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Let’s go over how 3D Touch will help you on the Home Screen. 

The Home Screen is where most of the magic happens. You launch your apps, you check the time, the date, and so much more. Quick Actions lets you do things that you do most often, faster and with fewer taps as possible. Many of these actions can even be done with a single press, right from the Home screen. Stock apps like Camera, Maps, Messages, and Phone all have built-in options for Quick actions.

How to use Quick actions on the Home screen with 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s

  • To use 3D Touch, press deeply (as if you were ringing a doorbell) on a compatible application like the Camera app. This will bring up the Quick Actions menu. Simply tap on the action you would like to launch and that’s that.

Camera app - 3D Touch - Quick Actions

  • So as you can see, you can quick switch to the front facing camera for a selfie, or jump to video recording, or slow-mo recording directly from the Home screen. You can firmly press on the icon, and swipe to the Quick Action in a single gesture.

Dynamic Quick Actions

For apps like Messages, Phone etc., there are also dynamic Quick Actions. These actions are only available if the application was recently used or even briefly opened before you use 3D touch. For example, if I was just texting my friend Jason and I can firmly press the Messages app on my Home screen, the option to message Jason will appear in the Quick action menu.

Inside Other apps

Quick actions also work inside some apps. You get Quick Actions when you firmly press the Contact photo in the Messages app for a number not in your address book, to Call, Message, Add to Existing Contact, or Create New Contact.

However, not all apps have Quick Actions. For apps that don’t have Quick Actions, you’ll receive a slight haptic feedback (two very quick gentle taps), informing you that the press was registered, but there are no Quick Actions for the app. Apps that do have Quick Actions will blur the background and show you the available Quick Actions menu.

Here’s a list of applications with support for Home screen actions so far:

  • Messages
  • Mail
  • Music
  • FaceTime
  • Calendar
  • Photos
  • Camera
  • Clock
  • Maps
  • iBooks Store
  • News
  • Phone
  • Safari
  • Videos
  • Wallet
  • Notes
  • Reminders
  • iTunes Store
  • App Store
  • Contacts
  • Find my Friends

We go hands-on with the Quick Actions feature using 3D Touch on iPhone 6s:

What do you guys think of 3D Touch? Is it a really useful addition or a sleek marketing item with less substance than stated? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Also check out:

How to animate a Live Photo with 3D Touch