Store attendants help customers at an Apple store selling the iPhone 6 in Beijing on October 23, 2014 / GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

Feature that can tell how hard screen is being pushed has already been rolled out on Apple Watch and MacBooks

Apple is preparing to make new iPhones with Force Touch, a feature that lets the phone know how hard its screen is being pressed.

The feature lets the screen work as a kind of button, allowing extra options. It was introduced with the Apple Watch and has been brought to some MacBooks — and has long been expected to make its way to all of Apple’s devices eventually.

The company has been working on the screens for the iPhone for at least two years, according to Bloomberg. But suppliers are now getting ready to make them, possibly ahead of a launch of the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 in the autumn.

Apart from the new screen technology, the new phone is expected to look largely similar to the existing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, reports Bloomberg, and will come in the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes. That will likely help to reduce the manufacturing time, despite the complexity of the new screens.

On the Apple Watch, Force Touch lets people press hard on some screens to bring up extra information, helping add extra functionality to the small screen. On the MacBooks, it can detect a wide range of different strengths of press — meaning that it can be used to speed up and slow down while fast forwarding through a video, for instance.

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