3D Touch or Why Does the iPhone 6s Have a Smaller Battery?

One of the things that came out of Apple’s big announcement is the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.  They don’t really look that much different than their predessors – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but it’s not what’s on the outside that matters.  Apple might have kept the same look, but they did jam some interesting hardware changes under the hood of the new iPhone 6s series.

3D Touch

One of the changes is the 3D Touch screens.  3D Touch (or force touch as it’s also called) isn’t a new concept, Huawei included “force touch” technology before Apple – or at least, they released it first.  But, as usually Apple seems to integrate the technology into their phones a little better and alot slicker than their Android counterparts.  On the iPhone 6s series, the screen can determine how much pressure you apply to it and can display additional data, shortcuts, etc. based on how much pressure you exert.  We’ve yet to see how this will translate into things like games, but I’m sure there will be a slew of new games trying to be the first to take advantage of it and I’m sure GameSalad will be releasing support for it soon.  But there was a cost to include 3D Touch on the new iPhones.

3D Touch and Battery Size

The cost of this new 3D Touch technology is that they dropped the battery size on the iPhone 6s from 1810 mAh battery on the iPhone 6 to a 1715 mAh battery on the iPhone 6s.  While that would normally mean less battery life, Apple is claiming that the iPhone 6s boasts the same battery life as it’s predessor, which could suggest that they have tweaked their power efficiency settings to give it the longer battery life with the smaller battery.  This could all be because of the iPhone 6’s Taptic Engine.  The Taptic Engine may be taking up the space that was previously taken up by the larger battery, but until someone does a full break down, we won’t know for sure.

3D Touch and Gaming

Again, how this will play out in game usage is unclear.  I can envision many different uses, though whether it will be viable to include these in action style games is unclear.  In more casual games or physics games, the ability to know how hard the users is tapping the screen will come in handy since you could base the amount of force or motion on the amount of pressure the user is giving the screen.  It will be interesting to not only see how the “Big Boys” will treat this new feature, but whether the users will embrace it.

We’ll have to see how this fairs in real use.  Apple wouldn’t be the first company to make grandoise claims on battery life that didn’t quite pan out in real world situations.  Only time will tell whether the 3D Touch takes off and whether it was worth the sacrifice of the larger battery and whether these are any better than the original iPhone 6 parts.  And if the 3D Touch catches on, does that mean that the newer Android phones will be using it as well?  We can only wait and see.


Tags: apple iphone iphone 6 parts

    John Cressman the Editor-in-Chief at MonkeyUncle.com. He is also a web programmer, game programmer, instructor, and a big proponent of cross platform development tools for mobile game development.

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