Google releases monthly updates for its line of Pixel smartphones. These updates come with performance improvements as well as add-on features to existing UI. In its latest release for the month of March, Google revealed a new feature called ‘Firm Press’.
While release notes do not contain much information about this feature, we have managed to get some intel on it from third-party sources. Here is what we know so far.
What is Firm Press on Android?
Firm Press is similar to Apple’s 3D touch experience but instead of using hardware feedback, Firm Press works on the basis of software optimization. Google has a long history of using its magical software optimization to improve mundane hardware that is found on other devices as well.
This has been very well documented with their Camera app that produces astonishing images on everyday sensors that can be found on smartphones from other manufacturers. Google’s Firm Press makes use of machine learning in order to determine the amount of pressure you are using on the screen.
This will help you eliminate the wait time of a split second that is traditionally required to activate long hold gestures.
What does the firm press do?
Firm Press reads the amount of pressure that is being applied when you tap on your phone’s screen. Google has disclosed that it uses complex machine learning algorithms to process this information within a fraction of a second.
This way, your devices can easily identify when you are selecting an option compared to the times when you want to activate secondary options. According to Google, this functionality is meant to assist the traditional long hold gesture and make it more intuitive and easy to activate. This will eliminate the need to wait a split second before you can get to your secondary options.
Theoretically, this feature should come in really handy when you are using the keyboard and would like to long-press in order to insert a different character.
Which devices support firm press on android?
Firm Press for Android is currently being rolled out to Gen. 4 Pixel devices only. The rollout is global and devices should start seeing updates in the next few days.
Which apps are compatible with firm press?
For now, only a few apps like the Pixel Launcher, Google Photos, and Google Drive are compatible with Firm Press. Google plans on incorporating this feature into more apps in the coming few months.
Developers can also take advantage of this new API but do not expect anything fancy anytime soon. Our hunch is that most developers will end up incorporating firm press into their already existing long-press gestures for now, and only a few will try to come up with innovative ways to utilize this new feature.
What did you think about Firm Press? Are you excited about the new feature? Has your Pixel 4 received the update? What was your experience? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below.