How to weigh stuff with the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus using the 3D Touch display

How to weigh stuff with the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus using the 3D Touch display
Apple's new pressure-sensitive screen technology that made a cameo with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is aptly named 3D Touch. Unlike the Force Touch tech on the Apple Watch, the 3D Touch screen functionality of the new iPhones can distinguish between light, medium, and hard taps, allowing for inventive new ways to interact with your apps and games. The so-called Peek option that can preview emails in your inbox, for instance, requires a medium touch, while pressing harder calls the option titled Pop, and it will open the message itself.

The extra layer of capacitive sensors takes milliseconds to measure minute changes in the distance between the cover glass and the backlight, and then iOS reacts according to the pressure applied. There is one more element added to the usual screen-plus-cover-glass setup, though, and it is a state-of-the-art taptic engine that responds to your presses with subtle feedback, so you know you are doing something with your presses. All that jazz accounts for new ways to interact with your phone, and, since the 3D Touch APIs are open to developers, major apps like Instagram or games like Warhammer, are being updated with the iPhone's pressure-sensitive screen in mind. 

Naturally, enterprising folks will find inventive ways to utilize the 3D Touch tech in different modes than simply popping up context menus. Remember Huawei's demo where it weighed an orange on the Force Touch display of the Mate S Luxury Edition when it was announced? While that version of Mate S is yet to hit the shelves, it showcased one alternative usage scenario for pressure-sensitive screens, and some devs have been taking advantage of the measuring abilities of 3D Touch, hiding the option in various apps, as Apple usually sniffs at such weighing efforts, and kicks such apps out of its application store. 

There is one option to weigh things on your iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that doesn't involve an app that can be banned later, though, as it is directly a web-based service. Here's what you need to do if you want to weigh stuff on your phone without attracting black helicopters over your head:

1. Fire up the Safari browser on your iPhone, and key pltarun.github.io/scale in the address bar;

2. Place a conductive object, like a spoon, on the screen of your handset, and tap the "Tare" button, so that the service can measure the weight of the container you are using (i.e. the spoon);

3. Now place the stuff you actually want to weigh in the spoon or other conductive container you are using, and then watch how the web-based 3D Touch scale displays its weight automagically. Alternatively, you can just place a conductive object like an apple, too. Don't overdo it, though, as the pressure-sensitive screen can only withstand a finite amount of pressure that corresponds to about 12 ounces (337g), so don't try to measure your cat with the iPhone, and expect credible results. Also, bear in mind that the weighing will be approximate, so it might show different values each time you measure, but it will be close enough to wow friends and family;

4. If you run into incoherent measurements, you might have to adjust your 3D Touch display sensitivity to Medium with our how-to guide.

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7 inches 1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 APL0898 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1715 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x
iPhone 6s Plus
  • Display 5.5 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2750 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x

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