Android Q to add support for 'deep presses' similar to Apple's 3D Touch

Android Q could offer a 3D Touch-like experience. (Source: Digital Trends)
Android Q could offer a 3D Touch-like experience. (Source: Digital Trends)
Android Q could bring support for its own version of iOS's 3D Touch called 'deep press' according to developer documentation for an object called MotionEvent. From the documentation, we get to learn that deep press could be a quick way to access submenus but it is not yet clear whether this is function is just an alternative for long press or requires dedicated pressure-sensitive touchscreen hardware.

3D Touch, first introduced in iOS 9 on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, offered an intuitive pressure-sensitive way to quickly access content and sub-menus for supported apps. Android phones haven't had such a feature apart from long press shortcuts provided by stock and third-party launchers. This could soon change with Android Q.

Documentation for the MotionEvent object in Android Q that reports movements from mouse, pen, finger, and trackball reveals a new input type called 'deep press'. From the developer docs,

The current event stream represents the user intentionally pressing harder on the screen. This classification type should be used to accelerate the long press behaviour."

This implies that deep press is a quicker way of accessing options that would have been exposed via a long press. The documentation does not talk about different functions that can be offered by varying levels of pressure sensitivity as is the case with Apple's 3D Touch implementation.

It is also not known whether deep press would require new hardware or Google would offer some sort of emulation that existing touchscreens can use to simulate a 3D Touch-like experience. Android Q is still in development so we might see OEMs offering deep press-compatible hardware as we near launch.


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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-04- 8 (Update: 2019-04- 8)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.