When it comes to tech, Apple always try and add an extra special touch to their gadgets. And that’s exactly where their haptic software comes in. These clever bits of subtle feedback are the quick vibrations you feel when you do almost anything on your iPhone. Which makes every action, from sending a text to switching up a setting, feel even more realistic…
What are haptics?
So, what are haptics on iPhone? Well, haptics is just a fancy word for touch feedback. It’s kind of similar to when your iPhone vibrates, but it’s a bit more interesting.
Instead of just a simple buzz, haptics makes every tap and touch on your phone way more responsive. So, you’ll get a small rumble when you type away on the keyboard. Or a delicate nudge to let you know that important work email has actually been sent (and isn’t just lurking in your inbox).
They’re split into three slightly different types too…
System haptics are those tiny vibrations your iPhone makes whenever you do basic things on it. Like use the Control Centre or toggle switches in your settings. It’s like your phone is letting you know “got it!” after every action you make. Meaning you’ll definitely spot when you accidentally flick a setting on that you didn’t mean to.
These make your touch screen way more interactive. They’re used when you press and hold an icon on your home screen. So, you’ll notice it when you’re trying to delete an app or are just sorting them away into folders. It’s pretty much your screen’s way of telling you that it’s responding properly to whatever your fingers are doing. And that makes every touch feel a lot more intentional.
They’re pretty much exactly what they sound like. Whenever you hear specific sounds or get a notification – whether it’s a text from your mate, or a like on your Insta post – there’ll be a small tap to go along with it. So, you definitely won’t miss that message from the delivery driver letting you know he’s nearby! It’s like two little reminders in one.
Adjusting haptic touch sensitivity
You can easily change how strong or gentle these touches feel. Here’s how to adjust your haptics on iPhone:
Open up ‘Settings’.
Tap on ‘Accessibility’.
Then choose ‘Haptic Touch’.
From there, you can tweak the haptic touch sensitivity so that it suits you.
‘Fast’ will make any shortcut menus pop up even speedier (so you don’t have to press an icon for as long). ‘Slow’ is the complete opposite – and takes a bit longer to get things done.
If you’re not a fan of it, you can turn haptic feedback off completely if you want to. Just go back to ‘Settings’, scroll down and tap ‘Sounds & Haptics’ and then toggle any mention of ‘Haptics’ off. Make sure you do the same under ‘Keyboard Feedback’ while you’re in there too.
Apps compatible with haptics
Loads of apps out there use iPhone haptics to make your experience more interesting. And mobile games are a really good example. Some of them will use haptics to make the gameplay extra immersive. Letting you feel like you’re an actual part of the game – with realistic responses that match the fast-paced action.
So, fire up your favourite app and have a look in the settings menu. Who knows, there might be a haptics option hiding away in there. And switching it on is going to make everything even cooler to use and play!
What happens if I turn off system haptics on iPhone?
Turning off your system haptics just means you won’t feel the little vibrations when you use your iPhone. It won’t mess anything up, but it might make it feel a bit less lively. Switch it off and see what you think. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to turn it back on again.
Is haptics the same as vibrate?
Not exactly. Vibrate is a longer, constant buzz (like the one you get when someone is ringing you). Haptics are more varied and interesting – giving you different feelings for different actions. And that means it’s a lot more advanced than a simple vibration is.
So, now you’re an expert on all things haptic feedback. What else can the iPhone do? Loads! Lost it down the back of the sofa? Track it down with our handy piece on find my iPhone: how to find a lost or stolen iphone. And if you need to snap a section of your screen, here’s how to take screenshots and screen recordings on iPhone.