How To Get 3D Touch Features On An Older iPhone

3D Touch is the newest front-line tech in Apple’s arsenal and the next big standard competitors will aim to implement in their own gadgets. Successor to the pressure sensitive Force Touch technology that was introduced with the Apple Watch, 3D Touch enables the touchscreens on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to register three levels of pressure, allowing users to hard-press app icons to invoke a new Quick Actions menu, hold down on photos, emails and links within messages to quickly peek at the content within, and hold down harder to pop the content into place.

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The new Quick Actions and Peek and Pop features are tied to the new Taptic Engine and the extra layer of pressure sensors beneath the display of Apple’s new devices, but the groundwork laid down for the software that governs these features still comes packed with the latest version of iOS, which happens to have been jailbroken. What this means is that developers could reproduce said features on older jailbroken devices running iOS 9.

If you have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or older iOS 9-compatible device that you’ve jailbroken and you find yourself growing envious of the new 3D Touch features that your friends are enjoying on their iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, here are three free Cydia tweaks you can install to clone said features on your device. You’ll get both Quick Actions and Peek and Pop without having to spend a penny.

If you haven’t jailbroken your device yet but are looking to do so, check out our comprehensive iOS 9 jailbreak tutorial.

Forcy

This simple tweak by the Straya Dev Team brings the Quick Actions menu to older devices, allowing you to long-press icons on the Home screen to access a menu of handy app-specific shortcuts, which you can select without lifting your finger. With long-press reserved for Quick Actions, the tweak lets you enter edit mode by swiping upwards on an icon. It comes bundled with the free Hapticle tweak to clone the new Taptic Engine’s haptic feedback in response to long-presses.

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From the menu Forcy adds to the Settings app, you can customize the time it takes for the tweak to recognize a long-press and disable the background blur to reduce any lag you might observe whenever a Quick Actions menu comes up. The tweak’s developer is also working on a new feature called Prefer Force Touch to replace the Swap Invoke Methods option it had in earlier versions. For further details on that, we’ll have to wait for future updates.

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The tweak is available for free on Cydia’s Big Boss repo.

RevealMenu

RevealMenu by iMokhles is nearly identical to Forcy in all respects, with the only differences being minor ones related to customization. The tweak offers its own haptic feedback and allows you to customize its duration and strength. The tweak is supposed to have Peek and Pop capability as well, but that didn’t work for us. The feature is currently in beta, apparently.

Update: The tweak has been updated with functional Peek and Pop, implemented the same way as it is in Peek-a-Boo.

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The tweak is available for free on the BigBoss repo. You can download beta versions with the not-yet-stable Peek and Pop feature by adding apt.imokhles.com to Cydia from Sources > Edit > Add.

HOPP’N & Peek-a-Boo

Update: This section has been re-written. It was originally about UniversalForce, an all-in-one 3D Touch tweak by Creatix that has since been replaced by two separate tweaks for Quick Actions and Peek and Pop, namely HOPP’N and Peek-a-Boo.

While the two tweaks above mimic the software that accompanies 3D Touch, this Cydia tweak duo by Creatix actually tries to emulate the hardware. HOPP’N (or Hoppin) enables Quick Actions while Peek-a-Boo unlocks the aforementioned Peek and Pop feature on older iOS 9-compatible devices, but instead of using the long-press method to invoke the feature, both tweaks allow the OS to register an actual hard-press by measuring how much of the screen your finger is touching, much like the ForceTouchActivator tweak that was released for devices jailbroken on iOS 8.4, though that simply added a pseudo-Force Touch gesture to Activator.

HOPP’N allows you to choose simpler activation methods including Long PressSwipe Up and Swipe Down if the default Force Touch way fails to work for you consistently. Like with the aforementioned UniversalForce tweak that this one replaces, the default activation method requires a little getting used to. You can select from one of three activation methods for editing the Home screen as well.

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Peek-a-Boo only offers one activation method and it works like a charm. Whenever you press down harder on a link, a photo preview inside the Photos app, a thread in the Messages app or an email within the stock Mail app, your finger comes into contact with greater surface area and the interaction is registered by the tweak, which then allows you to take a peek at the underlying content. You can then swipe up, left and right for additional options, or press harder to have the full content pop out.

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With UniversalForce, the transition from “peek” to “pop” didn’t always work as expected, but the developers seem to have made significant improvements to this with Peek-a-Boo. Still, if you find Peek & Pop previews failing to appear on a single try or going full-screen when you didn’t want them to, try adjusting the Peek and Pop sensitivities from the tweak’s configuration menu in the Settings app. I found the best results with the sensitivity set to approximately 45.

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The tweak also unlocks the keyboard trackpad feature that the iPhone 6s employs for quick cursor movement and text selection, though it is quite hard to switch from cursor movement to text selection, which requires you to press harder while keeping your finger very still. Cursor movement works like a charm, though.

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Both HOPP’N and Peek-a-Boo are available for free on the Creatix repository and are our favorite among those mentioned here. You will have to add repo.ioscreatix.com to Cydia from Sources > Edit > Add to download the tweaks.

SwipeSelection

This gem of a tweak replicates the ability of the new iPhones to turn their keyboards into trackpads for cursor movement upon a hard-press and for text selection when the screen is pressed harder still.

Note: As said feature is tied in with 3D Touch, you will be able to unlock it on your older device after the installation of Peek-a-Boo (or RevealMenu, with its latest update), thanks to the tweak’s pseudo-3D Touch activation method, though switching from cursor movement to text selection requires an extremely fine touch, at least as of this writing. I’m guessing this is because the tweak can’t tell a harder press from a hard press if your finger moves around too much, as iOS will register that as an attempt to move the cursor.

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SwipeSelection provides a handy alternative in the form of a tweak that mimics the keyboard’s trackpad-esque features via simple swipes. Swiping into the keyboard from the Shift key activates text selection while a swipe anywhere else allows you to freely move the cursor around. Nice and simple, and without any options to configure. It won’t transform the keyboard as shown in the image above, but it works like a charm.

The tweak is available for free on Cydia’s BigBoss repo.

Motus

The purpose of this tweak by Creatix is to bring iOS 9’s keyboard trackpad to older devices while offering a simpler way to invoke said feature compared to that offered by the Peek-a-Boo tweak by the same developer. With Motus, you can activate the keyboard trackpad by swiping anywhere on the keyboard, though it only allows cursor movement. This doesn’t necessarily make SwipeSelection the clear winner, though, as Motus uses the native keyboard trackpad feature, which allows for much, much faster cursor movement.

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The tweak’s Settings menu also lets you customize how fast you need to be swiping across the keyboard to activate it.

Motus is available for free on the Creatix repo at repo.ioscreatix.com.

SwipeSwitcher

This small tweak by CP Digital Darkroom enables the 3D Touch-invoked multitasking functionality of the iPhone 6s on older, non-3D Touch devices, replacing the original gesture (a hard-press on the left edge of the display) with a simple inward swipe from the top-left edge of the screen. In addition to providing an additional way to invoke the app switcher, this feature also allows you to quickly switch between the most recently used apps without having to deal with the app switcher at all. Simply continue swiping rightwards after the initial invocation to switch to the most recently used app.

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SwipeSwitcher is available for free on the CP Digital Darkroom repo at repo.cpdigitaldarkroom.com and has been submitted for release on BigBoss. For more details on the tweak, head on over to our SwipeSwitcher review.

Ghosty

Available for free on the BigBoss repo, this little tweak will help speed up the Quick Actions animation on older devices by getting rid of the blur that accompanies it. Unlike the Remove Background Blue option that comes with Forcy, Ghosty retains focus on the Quick Actions menu even after removing the blur by dimming out the rest of the screen.

Although it isn’t exactly a port of a 3D Touch feature, Ghosty is meant for older devices with 3D Touch-enabling tweaks installed, and owing to a very visible lag when invoking Quick Actions on the Home screen, it’s more or less an essential download, which is why it was included in this list.

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Check out our Cydia tweaks section for more from the jailbreak store.