Apple just unveiled its new iPhones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, with a big new feature: “3D Touch,” leveraging a finely tuned, pressure-sensitive touchscreen that lets users touch gently on a link or other item to get a quick “peek” at content, and then touch harder to “pop” the content into full display on the screen.
The new system works by sensing the distance between the glass and the backlight, letting the screen display different information based on how hard you’re pressing on the screen. Just like pinch-to-zoom was to multitouch, peek and pop enables new gestures with 3D Touch. Users can 3D Touch an app icon to jump right into actions, peek at an address in their iMessage chain or switch apps quickly by pressing forcefully on the edge of the screen.
The new iPhones will come in four colors: Silver, gold, space gray and rose gold. The iPhone 6s will come with a 4.7-inch retina display, and the 6s Plus will come with a 5.5-inch screen, the same sizes as the existing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new devices will run on Apple’s new A9 chip.
The new iPhones will come with a new 12MP iSight camera, with 50-percent more pixels capable of shooting 4K video. The FaceTime camera is also improved, and now the screen will flash with a color tuned based on what the camera is capturing with the selfie camera.
The camera can also take “Live Photos.” When you take a photo, the camera captures the three seconds surrounding the shutter press to make small videos with optional sound. Support for Live Photos is coming to all Apple devices, and you can set live photos to be the background on your Apple Watch or iPhone with the new live wallpaper.
“Hey Siri” is now always available on the new iPhones. The feature, introduced last year but only available when the phone was plugged in, allows you to ask Siri things without touching a button or having your phone plugged in thanks to improved battery life.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will come in at the same price as their predecessors. The 16GB iPhone 6s will be $199 and the iPhone 6s Plus starts at $299. The iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus are all $100 cheaper now.
Apple also introduced a new upgrade plan that lets users pay $32 per month and upgrade their phone every year.
Pre-orders start on Sept. 16 and new iPhones will arrive on Sept. 25. iOS 9 will also be available on Sept. 16.
Developing story, more to come.