How To: Use the keyboard as a trackpad on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with 3D Touch

3D Touch added an assortment of useful features in iOS – we’ve already discussed some of them and even older, jailbroken iPhones can get 3D Touch-like functionality. And lets not forget it’s also up to developers to find new ways to use 3D Touch in their apps.

Among all of these features, you can now turn your keyboard into a trackpad on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus thanks to 3D Touch. Some touted this feature as perfect when you’re on the go. However, I’m sure many of you have been using the trackpad on your notebooks even while you were comfortably browsing the web or doing some other kind of non-urgent activity.

Truth be told, us computer users inevitably miss the mouse when handling our smartphones, so the trackpad is surely appreciated by many people. Text manipulation on a touch screen is a bit inconvenient compared to carelessly moving the cursor around on a trackpad.

There’s no dedicated trackpad function available on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, instead you can turn the keyboard into one, whenever you need it, in any app where the keyboard shows up like Mail, Notes, Messages, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Here’s how to enable the trackpad:

  • Open any app where the keyboard appears.
  • Type some text.

iPhone 6s Trackpad 3D Touch1

  • Press and hold the keyboard firmly.

iPhone 6s Trackpad 3D Touch2

  • The letters will disappear and a cursor will be displayed. Then you can swipe your finger on the screen to move the cursor (like you would on a notebook) – and not just on the keyboard. You don’t need to press as hard now, but you can’t lift your finger off the screen.

iPhone 6s Trackpad 3D Touch3

  • With the cursor above a word, press firmly to select it. With your finger still on the screen, ease the pressure and drag up or down to select more text.

Note: Instead of dragging up and down, you can deep press two times in a row and the entire sentence will be selected; three times to select a paragraph.

  • Then you can open the context menu with editing options by tapping on the selected text.
  • Or you can just place the cursor where you want to and release your finger from the screen to set it in its current position.

As you can see, the trackpad in iOS 9 is quite smart – just give it a few tries to get used to it and you’ll be hooked for life!

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