Apple is amazing at setting trends. This is why lots of other companies use similar names to Apple’s products and, sometimes, even copy the company’s designs. That said, it’s not every time that Apple makes it right or a feature it’s pushing survives. Here are five examples of iPhone features that Apple thought would be groundbreaking but ended up being discontinued or falling out of use.

Let’s start with a function that many hard-core users loved but most people never heard about: 3D Touch. Unveiled alongside the iPhone 6S, this function survived until the iPhone XS. 3D Touch started as “Force Touch” on the Apple Watch, but even this longer press was deactivated and removed on Apple’s smartwatches.

I personally enjoyed this third possible gesture on the iPhone screen. It was perfect for previewing links, messages, photos, and, of course, watching Live Photos. As of now, you can still do all of that, but that haptic feedback was something unique from Apple.

Moving on, the iPhone X introduced a new trend with Animojis – which then evolved to Memoji. Not only did companies release their own terrible versions of this feature – RIP Samsung’s AR Emojis – but it was also very trendy. Lypsinc, famous people’s impressions, and even more were posted online just to differentiate those who had an iPhone X with TrueDepth from those who didn’t.

But with time, Apple made it possible for all users to create their own Memoji, and today it’s very rare to see someone posting their Memoji reaction or even using this feature at all.

Talking about the TrueDepth system, can we ever forget about Slofies? Introduced with the iPhone 11, this was supposed to be Apple’s next great feature: the ability to record slow-motion films using the front-facing camera.

I was never able to make a good Slofie. Also, have you ever met anyone that used this feature even once?

OK, let’s go back to 2016 and iOS 10 to talk about the iMessage App Store. I was a fan. Not only that, but I might have bought a few Pokémon stickers there. The problem is: there’s not much use for it, and I also never dragged and dropped a sticker in the middle of a conversation. Was this ever a thing?

Last but not least, Apple tried a new trend in 2020 with App Clips. This revolutionary way of using an app without downloading it. Here’s how we described it back during WWDC20:

[App Clips] They’re small, brief previews of full App Store apps that don’t put your life on pause to find, install, and run. App clips can be activated right from your lock screen with NFC-enabled app clip codes.

App clips in the Apple Store could make purchasing products, picking up orders, and discovering new accessories faster and more seamless. The Apple Store app is already pre-installed on every new iPhone, but users can delete it if they wish. An app clip for the Apple Store app could trigger the scan and buy self-checkout feature or let any visitor quickly check-in for an appointment without needing the full app installed.

The only time I force myself to try it was with Shazam, but every time I find a new song, it thinks I’m not an Apple Music subscriber, so I ended up downloading the app again.

Wrap up

These are the five iPhone features that could’ve been a trend but ultimately ended up being forgotten by Apple or its users.

There are plenty of examples out there, so write in the comment section below a feature Apple talked about a lot and now no one really uses it.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

Got tips, feedback, or questions? jose@9to5mac.com