While Apple has included a vibration motor in the iPhone since the beginning, it hasn’t let us use it for haptic feedback on our default keyboard until now.
The vibration motor in the iPhone changed several times until Apple settled on its Taptic Engine in 2015, which provides haptic feedback for incoming calls, voice mail, reminders, new texts, and other alerts. Since the iPhone 7, you can feel haptic feedback even when performing specific actions like screen presses, toggle switches, and closing Control Center.
Haptic feedback has always been missing for the default keyboard, which makes it feel like a real keyboard while typing, giving you physical confirmation of key presses. We could use keyboard clicks as audio indicators, but to get haptic feedback when pressing keys, we always had to resort to workarounds, such as using third-party keyboards like Gboard.
Many Android phones have had keyboard haptic feedback since their inception, and people always thought that Apple avoided it because of the extra strain on the battery or because it found the haptics “tiring” when overused. Whatever the reason, this is no longer an issue in iOS 16, and will work on any iPhone model that supports the new operating system.
How to Enable Keyboard Haptics for Your iPhone
You can turn on the new keyboard haptics for typing from the same menu, so you can toggle off keyboard typing clicks always. Open “Sounds & Haptics” in the Settings app, and instead of the “Keyboard Clicks” switch, you’ll see a new “Keyboard Feedback” menu. Tap on it, and toggle the “Haptic” button on.
The new haptics in Apple’s keyboard feel just like they do in Gboard and other third-party keyboards with haptic feedback support. You will not feel any vibration while lying on the table with your iPhone, but you will definitely feel it when you hold the iPhone in your hands.
Note: While iOS 16 has keyboard haptics, iPadOS 16 does not – there are currently no iPad models that include Taptic Engine.
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Cover photo by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks; Screenshot by Danielle Hipskind/Gadget Hacks