The Apple iPhone has come a long way since the launch of the very first iPhone in January, 2007. Who would’ve thought that the iPhone would become one of the best selling phones of all time and feature an almost bezel-less display in just 10 years of time.
While the iPhone is very well known for its camera, performance and ease of use, there’s one thing that not a lot of people talk about, i.e, the Haptic feedback on the iPhone. This feature is one of those less talked about things, but without it, the iPhone wouldn’t be complete.
Haptic Feedback Explained
The haptic feedback is the response that feels very natural, such as a human tap or nudge. The feedback provided by the latest iPhones are precise taps that feel non-mechanical. The Apple Watch features a tap feature that can be sent to someone along with a heartbeat. It is personal and feels almost like a physical touch.
The iOS system uses haptic feedback on iPhone to help users understand what’s happening on the device. In simple terms, haptic feedback on iPhone is the feedback you receive when you interact and touch the phone.
The minute taps and vibrations that the iPhone provides when using pinch-to-zoom, or pressing on an app icon, or toggling something, these are all haptic feedbacks. All of this is possible thanks to the Taptic Engine that’s inside of the iPhone. It is a tiny actuator with a motor, which can detect your finger on the screen. It can also be configured to act differently with different apps with the help of the Taptic Engine API.
Although the iPhone came with a vibration motor since the very beginning, Apple introduced the new Taptic Engine with the iPhone 7. Prior to that, the iPhones came with a linear actuator, which also provided the best in class haptic feedback among any smartphone.
The new Taptic Engine was first introduced with the Apple Watch in 2014 and was known as Force Touch. Later on, a similar feature was brought to the iPhone 6s, which was known as 3D Touch. The 3D Touch and Haptic Touch are two different things, and we will explain it later.
The Force Touch feature was also introduced to other products such as the Macbook Trackpad and the Magic Mouse. It also uses a Taptic Engine to provide feedback to touch. With the iPhone 7, Apple switched the linear actuator motor with the Taptic Engine, which provides more precise haptic feedback for system actions, notifications, and more.
iPhone Haptic Feedback – Taptic Engine
The iPhone 7 and newer iPhones feature the new Taptic Engine, which brought a whole new level of haptic feedback to users. The Taptic Engine can be configured to provide custom haptic feedback for various actions. For example, when you pinch-to-zoom on the iPhone 7 or later, and reach the limit on the screen, you will receive feedback telling you that you cannot zoom further. The feedback can be provide to several such actions, vastly improving the user experience.
Apple also introduced the Haptic Home button with the iPhone, which uses the Taptic Engine. Instead of a moving physical Home button, the iPhone 7 and iPhone feature a capacitive button that mimics the press of a traditional home button. Even when you aren’t actually pressing the button, you will feel like you are. However, a lot of users preferred the feel of an actual button over the capacitive haptic home button.
After the iPhone, Apple completely got rid of the Home Button. The iPhone X and later feature no Home button and instead come with gesture based navigation. The mechanical buttons on the iPhone wears out after a certain period of time.
Having no button was a better idea according to Apple, and people have now gotten used to it with the new gesture based home action. Haptic feedback on the iPhone is loved by most users, but some don’t prefer the constant taps and vibrations. If you are one of those users, do not worry, because you can easily turn off the Haptic feedback on your iPhone.
Turn off Haptic Feedback iPhone
If you don’t want the system haptic feedback on the iPhone 7 or later, then you can turn off the System Haptics. You cannot turn off all feedback, but you can still get rid of some of the feedback that you receive throughout the system.
1. Launch the Settings app.
2. Navigate to Sounds and Haptics.
3. Scroll all the way down till you see the option called System Haptics.
4. Turn this setting off and most of the system related haptics should turn off.
You can also turn off other haptics and 3D Touch options separately. To turn off the haptic feedback that you get when using the Keyboard, do the following.
1. Open Settings.
2. Head over to Sounds and Haptics.
3. Scroll down to find the Keyboard Clicks option.
4. Toggle this setting off and you will no longer receive taps when typing.
3D Touch on iPhone
The iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS and XS Max, all feature the 3D Touch feature. This feature provides three levels of feedback when you press on the display. The screen features a pressure sensitive layer, which can be used to perform actions.
For example, if you press on an app with a certain amount of pressure, the app will reveal shortcuts. Using less pressure will put the app in wiggle mode, allowing you to delete it or move it around. You can also disable the 3D Touch feature if it isn’t to your liking. However, disabling this feature will turn off vibrations when your phone is on silent mode. If you still want to do it.
1. Launch the Settings app.
2. Head on over to General and the select Accessibility.
3. Now look for the 3D Touch option and turn it off.
Future for Haptic Feedback
Apple has been preparing for a future where the iPhone is going to be all screen, without any bezels or buttons. The current iPhones are already pretty much there, and the improvements in haptic feedback will help users not miss physical buttons.