Android N wants to borrow a leaf from Apple’s 3D Touch pressure-sensitive feature and let OEMs add similar abilities into their devices.
At the moment, there is really no word on what Google is planning to call its pressure-sensitive feature. However, be sure that it won’t be termed as 3D Touch. The idea of Android N having integrated support for pressure-sensitive screens came about following the discovery of a code in the latest developer preview version that implies the use of dynamic shortcuts is in the works.
In the recently-released Android N developer preview, Google has introduced support for Launcher shortcuts. This feature lets developers define shortcuts that can be exposed by users in the launcher in order to help them execute actions a lot quicker than what happens today. In essence, this is just Google’s way of describing the 3D Touch feature without having to mention anything to do with Apple. In Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, users get pop-up menus that allow them to directly jump to more specific parts of various apps, thus helping in faster execution of actions.
The new pressure-sensitive feature on Android N will become the latest feature that Google will be “copying” from Apple, but for sure, it is worth it provided Google makes it even better than what Apple has to offer.
According to Google, the idea of integrating pressure-sensitive capabilities in Android N was brought about by manufacturers of Android devices. Baking the feature into the OS, according to the OEMs, will make it easier for them to include pressure-sensitive screens on their devices as they won’t need to develop their own individual methods.
What this means is that third party developers can easily come in and code for any Android device rather than come up with something new with respect to each OEM.
3D Touch-like Android feature may start arriving in 2017
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released last year. However, it is only until this year that major OEMs have begun using the OS on their devices. With this in mind, don’t expect to see a flurry of devices supporting the pressure-sensitive feature this year. Even though Google is expected to unveil a new Nexus 2016 while Samsung is also rumored to be working on releasing the Galaxy Note 6 running on Android N out of the box, don’t expect to see this feature on its fullest.
However, you can expect the pressure-sensitive screens to start appearing in Android devices come 2017, which is still some eight months away.