In case you didn’t already know, Apple’s somewhat low-cost iPhone XR doesn’t come with 3D Touch. It’s assumed either the company ran into manufacturing problems or they wanted to keep costs down when producing the device in order for them to charge $749 per unit. Whatever the reason, the feature just isn’t there, unlike the iPhone XS and XS Max. This ultimately led to the loss of other features that required 3D Touch to work such as app shortcuts and link previewing. However, it appears Apple is developing workarounds for these functions, and iOS 12.1.1 will bring one to the table.
As discovered by 9to5Mac, when running iOS 12.1.1 on the XR, users are able to long-press on notifications and expand them for quickly reading information and taking action via buttons at the bottom. This is the exact same function you get when forcibly pressing a notification on an iPhone with 3D Touch. You can also swipe a notification slightly and hit the “View” button to open a preview, but that requires extra steps that don’t serve to be as useful as simply long-pressing or hard-pressing.
To get the feature to work, Apple uses its Haptic Touch feature that provides haptic feedback when performing a 3D Touch-esque action on the XR. Mind you, it isn’t that impressive since it just buzzes your hand when you do something, but that’s the workaround the company’s using when you wanna do something with 3D Touch on a device that doesn’t support it.
Up until this point, the only workarounds implemented in 3D Touch’s absence on the XR have been long-pressing the camera and flashlight icons on the lock screen, long-pressing controls in Control Center, and accessing the cursor-moving shortcut on the iOS keyboard. Personally, I’d expect many more 3D Touch actions to reach the XR in the future since there’s a good chance the technology will be phased out over time. We’ll keep you updated, as always.
Currently, we’re not sure when iOS 12.1.1 will roll out to the public, but a beta is current underway with registered public testers and developers.