Samsung is Frustratingly Forced to Play Catch-Up with Apple's 3D Touch due to their Version of it failing Miserably
Last week we posted a report titled "Synaptics Introduces Me-Too Technology that will Assist Android OEMs Match Apple's 3D Touch Advantage in 2016." We noted that Synaptics had been working closely with leading global OEMs and LCMs to deliver this new dimension in touch with force-enabled smartphones expected to ship in early 2016. Of course Samsung has been a long standing customer of Synaptics and so it was a no brainer that Samsung would be adopting this technology for their next flagship smartphone. So it's rather humorous that Forbes and others websites have been chasing a rumor found on Weibo that states the obvious.
The strange twist to this is that Samsung could 'technically' call their version of Apple's feature Samsung 3D Touch and Apple couldn't do anything to stop them because Synaptics supposedly owns the trademark, even though we couldn't find it listed in Europe, China or the US. In a 2013 press release Synaptics introduced ClearPad Touch technology powering Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 as follows:
"Synaptics Inc., a leading developer of human interface solutions, today announced that Samsung has selected the industry-leading ClearPad® high-performance capacitive On-Cell touchscreen solution, featuring Synaptics' patented 3D-touch™ technology, to drive the user interface of its flagship Galaxy Note 3 device."
Even the description of the technology sounds like Apple's 3D Touch. Synaptics 3D Touch works hand-in-hand with Air View described as follows:"Air View allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open the file. Air View also allows a magnified view on the Internet browser, or a phone number saved in the speed dial on the keypad."
So Apple's new 3D Touch preview feature was first envisioned by Synaptics under the 3D Touch trademark. Of course Apple's 3D Touch actually works intimately with iOS 9 and delivers this feature in style.
Though to be fair, there's a video demo of Air View on the Galaxy S4 that shows that the concept was somewhat functional. At the 2:57 mark of the video it's shown that users were able to get a preview of their email by just hovering their finger over the email header.
Yet a in a 2014 TechRadar review, they thought it was another Samsung mess as follows: "But the biggest problem I have is with the supposed 'innovation' Samsung continues to bring to proceedings. Air view, air gestures, smart scroll - these are all cool in their own way, but all are flawed or overly complex, marring the overall simplicity of the device.
In stark contrast, one recent review of Apple's new feature titled "6 reasons I couldn’t live without 3D Touch ever again," clearly demonstrates the shear enthusiasm iPhone 6s users have for Apple's latest feature.
Thus far Apple's implementation of 3D Touch as a true touch technology rather than a hover technology has been hailed by many such as Forbes who noted recently that "The biggest benefit of 3D Touch is that you should save time and increase productivity. The immediate response is complemented by haptic technology – using motion such as vibrations to recreate a sense of touch. Apple seems to be really, really good at taking something that people know how to do, but then take it to perfection."
At the end of the day, it must be frustrating for Samsung to have had a leading feature ahead of Apple but just couldn't make it work worth a damn. Because of their failure to deliver, Samsung is now forced to play catch-up. It just goes to prove that slapping a third party solution unto Android and Samsung hardware just to be 'first-to-market' doesn't really work. As TechRadar coined it, it's Samsung's "supposed innovation," which is a polite way of saying "fake innovation."
In stark contrast, Apple's long standing method of intimately working on a new feature where the hardware supports the new software to deliver a unique seamless experience for end users is a proven winning formula. If you haven't seen the depths that Apple went to make this feature actually work, then check out their 3D Touch webpage for details or watch the video below.
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