Early buyers of Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus discovered that settings for 3D Touch were buried within the Accessibility section of the Settings app, and very few in number: turn on/turn off, adjust sensitivity, and test the feature. But it turns out that there’s a hidden 3D Touch setting that’s disabled by default — Peek Zoom. Here’s how to find it, how it works, and who will want to use it…


Peek Zoom is hidden within Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom, and to activate it, you need to take two steps: turn on Zoom (which you’ll need to double-tap three fingers to activate/deactivate), then turn on Show Controller. When you press hard on the Zoom Controller, you’ll notice that the entire screen zooms in, then zooms out when you release pressure. A setting called Zoom Region can restrict the zoomed-in area to a small, movable window if you prefer.


Apple’s addition of Peek Zoom is a blessing for users with reduced vision, as it makes enlarging screen content as easy as pressing and releasing an on-screen button — previously something that required three-finger gestures that sometimes weren’t detected accurately by the iPhone’s display. The Zoom Controller is necessary for Peek Zoom because it creates a guaranteed circle on the screen that can work as a 3D Touch pressure point regardless of whatever else is being displayed.


To prevent it from being too much of a distraction for users, Apple enables the Zoom Controller’s “idle visibility” to be reduced to a nearly invisible 5% to a fully opaque 100% with a slider; when the Controller is dragged around, it becomes visible, but otherwise — including during 3D Touch presses — remains as transparent as you prefer.

For more 3D Touch features, check out our video below:

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