Google released its latest Android N preview this week and the update may be hiding a major new feature in plain sight. Phandroid did some digging and found that the next version of Android could include native support for pressure sensitive displays.
The update mentions new “dynamic shortcuts” which appear to be gesture based. Phandroid also spoke to Kevin Barry, the developer behind Nova Launcher, who agreed something was up but couldn’t get it to work on his current hardware. However, it’s possible Google could officially introduce the feature later this year with a new smartphone.
According to one recent leak, HTC and Google are working together on a new feature called “pressure touch” to include in an upcoming Nexus device. HTC may actually be working on a pair of stock Android smartphones for the search giant, but we won’t know for sure until later this year.
If the rumors are true, then Google may have an answer to Apple’s 3D Touch, which Cupertino introduced last year with the iPhone 6s. In that case, Android N may also give third-party phone makers a new way to compete directly with Apple without needing to develop the technology on their own first.