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Android getting its own 3D Touch early 2016

Android phones containing force-sensitive display technology like that of the iPhone 6S will ship in 2016, it’s been revealed.

Apple recently launched the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, and one feature in particular stands out. 3D Touch (pictured) makes the screens sensitive to pressure, opening up a whole new layer of interface potential.

All of which begs the question: when will we see such technology in an Android phone?

There will be a special version of the Huawei Mate S that will feature similar technology some time in the future, but Synaptics has just signalled a wider rollout.

The human interface specialist has announced ClearForce, a force-sensitive technology that will be coming to smartphones (likely all powered by Android) in early 2016. No specific manufacturers are mentioned, but you can take an educated stab in the dark based on that launch time frame and the mention of “leading OEMs.”

Related: What can 3D Touch do on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus?

So what will ClearForce be capable of? Applications such as “function preview and selection” and “right-side mouse click behaviour (open contextual menus)” will be familiar to any iPhone 6S owner. However, Synaptics also mentions the likes of “variable speed scrolling”, “picture zoom and panning”, and “unlock and wake up” as potential uses for the technology.

“This exciting next step in human interface for smartphones will soon become the norm and highlights Synaptics’ leadership in force,” said Synaptics senior vice president Kevin Barber.

It isn’t always first with such things, but this is one of those occasions in which Apple is clearly ahead of the curve.

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