New iPhones to get mysterious 'squeeze to freeze' function

Why tap your phone when you can squeeze it instead?

iPhone X case

Apple wants you to control your iPhone by squeezing it, and so it's filed a patent application for a "Mobile Electronic Device with Squeeze Detection", with the documentation detailing two examples of how the maker envisions the technology being used.

The first of these is pausing and restarting a video. 

Apple notes in the application that by squeezing the device, "the processing unit may determine that user input corresponds to a command to pause the video. Subsequently, the processing unit may process received data and determine that user input corresponding to a command to resume play of the video has been received and resume play of the video accordingly."

The second example of how the squeezable iPhone could be used is for playing games.

In the application Apple notes that, "the processing unit may be presenting a motorcycle driving game via the display. The processing unit may process received data and determine that the user applied a force to bend the electronic device. In this case, bending the electronic device may be associated with increasing the speed on the motorcycle in the game."

While this squeezing concept certainly isn't a new idea, with it shown off well in the latest HTC U12+ flagship phone, we can definitely see Apple adopting it and, in typical fashion, making it more polished and mainstream. We can totally envision Apple describing at one of its iPhone events how if you are watching a movie, its magical new 'squeeze to freeze' function will let you pause and restart the video, for example.

We doubt this squeezable tech will find its way into the 2018 iPhone X, as the patent was only filed back in February this year, but its inclusion into the range next year would make sense and help enhance Apple's high-end tech offering and fight off new challenges to its supremacy from the Google Pixel 3, which is reportedly very much gunning for the flagship's scalp, as well as the incoming Samsung Galaxy X folding phone.


Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.