From the files of “endlessly frustrating problems that Google wouldn’t help me with.”
When I bought my iPhone 7, I couldn’t open links in new tabs in Safari for the first six months I owned it. Whenever I tried to hold a link to open it, Safari would sometimes ignore me, sometimes it would start showing a preview of the destination for that link. Which behavior it chose to do seemed to depend on the whether Mercury was in retrograde.
After much searching, I eventually learned this behavior isn’t a “bug.” According to Apple, it is the “feature” that they have long been marketing as “3d touch.” That is, your iPhone is now paying attention to how hard your touch your Safari links. If you hold a link “hard,” then, instead of popping up the context menu that allows you to open the link in a new tab, you instead get the obnoxious popup preview of the next page.
The solution to being able to pop the standard iOS Safari context menu? Hold on a link in Safari, but do it lightly, tenderly, as if you were stroking a baby dove.
This is what “intuitive UI” has become on the new iPhone.
Turning off 3d touch
If, like me, you find 3d touch to be more of a nuisance than a feature, you can disable it as follows: open Settings, search for “Touch,” and pick what should be the first option in the list:
Then click into the 3d touch option, which can be turned off for a 32% less aggravating mobile experience:
PS bonus fix! Have you had trouble moving your iPhone’s icons around since upgrading to iOS 10.1? Guess why. That’s right, 3d touch. As with the above, to move around app icons on a 3d-touch device, you have to touch them ever so lightly.
I will continue waiting for this to feel like a “feature.”