Remember the Nokia McLaren? A flagship Windows Phone device supposedly featuring some new “floating touch”/3D Touch technology that was supposed to be launched last year? Despite the device missing its launch period, and reportedly being scrapped, a recent report gives us a look at how floating touch would have looked like on Windows Phone 8.1.
According to a report from WindowsBlogItalia, followed by one from Windows Central, floating touch on Windows Phone would cause Live Tiles to explode/expand into a number of other tiles that provide more detail at a glance when users hover their fingers over the display. Had the McLaren not been canceled, Microsoft would have added support to floating touch in a new GDR update for Windows Phone 8.1, and along with an unlocked SDK, developers would have been able to program these new ‘Flyout Tiles’ into their apps. Whether or not the feature would work on existing Windows Phones is unknown but it does seem like one of those features Nokia – now Microsoft – would typically reserve for its high-end offerings.
The image you see above shows a Flyout Tile of a pinned contact, where the surrounding tiles give you a quick look at recent messages, emails and pictures, and it seems like Flyout Tiles will also function as interactive Live Tiles too as they give you the ability to access quick actions to call, email, or message a contact directly from the Start Screen. We can imagine these types of tiles would come in handy in other contexts and with other types of applications.
We don’t know whether Microsoft still plans to include 3D Touch technology in future Windows 10 flagships, but it seems like quite a useful feature to have, so we hope it does make its way to market eventually. Let us know what you think of the tiles in the comments below and whether you prefer them to the Interactive Live Tiles that Microsoft is also experimenting on.