Android N could feel the pressure with a 3D Touch-like feature

Android N
Android could be learning from iOS

Android N may not have a final name yet, but many of the features have been revealed through the developer previews, from multi-window support to an improved Doze mode.

The latest revelation is that Android N might support pressure-sensitive displays, enabling users to interact with the screen in much the same way as 3D Touch allows on the iPhone 6S.

We say might, because at the moment it comes down to the wording of a launcher shortcuts API, which talks about 'dynamic shortcuts'.

Under pressure

The text was spotted by Phandroid, and following the discovery Nova Launcher developer Kevin Barry tried to test it out. He failed, but confirmed that the shortcuts do appear to be gesture-based, suggesting that 3D Touch-like gestures may well be supported in the final version of Android N.

It would make a certain amount of sense for Google to get on board the pressure-sensing train. Inevitable accusations of copying aside it's one of the few big iOS features that you can't currently get on Android, and it's got a lot of potential.

Of course, even if Android N does support pressure-sensitive interactions on the software side you'll still need hardware that can make use of it, which counts out most current phones, other than perhaps the Huawei Mate S, which already has a similar Force Touch feature.

But future phones could support it – and if Google's working on it there's a good chance that its next Nexus handsets will be the first to do so.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.