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How to create custom vibrations on your iPhone

How to create custom vibrations on your iPhone

Apple's Software
June 29, 2015

Apple’s iOS mobile operating system ships with a series of default vibration patterns for users, but it could be these aren’t quite working out. Perhaps you’re missing notifications outright because the vibrations configured on your iPhone aren’t prominent enough, or it could be that you’re often feeling “phantom alerts” (which trick users into thinking a message has reached their device) when the smartphone is resting in a pocket. Perhaps, instead, you don’t find each default vibration pattern to be unique enough, making it tricky to distinguish between alerts for calls, texts, email, and social media based on your iPhone’s vibration notification alone. Thankfully, these problems can be solved using a hidden feature in Apple’s iOS, which allows iPhone owners to configure custom, complex vibration patterns for their various incoming notifications. Better still, the process of creating your own unique vibration alerts on iOS is quick and easy.

First up, you’ll need to launch the iOS Settings application. Then, navigate over to the “Sounds” tab, and select the type of alert you’re looking to change the vibration pattern for. You see, individual, default vibration patterns are available for incoming calls, messages, voicemail, email, tweets, Facebook posts, Calendar app events, Reminders app notifications, and AirDrop alerts. As such, iPhone owners can configure custom vibration patterns for each one of these notification types.

Choose the alert you'd like to edit the vibration pattern for in the iOS Settings app.

Choose the alert you’d like to edit the vibration pattern for in the iOS Settings app.

You might prefer a faster, more rapid vibration pattern for incoming calls, or a slower, steadier pattern for messages. Through configuring a smart, custom vibration pattern, users will more easily be able to recognise the nature of incoming notifications based on the vibration itself (as users can with the Apple Watch, for instance), and vibrations should also be easier to feel.

There are plenty of default vibration patterns to choose from, or users can create their own.

There are plenty of default vibration patterns to choose from, or users can create their own.

So, with that said, let’s go back to the Settings app. Here, in the “Sounds” tab, you’ll need to choose the type of notification you’re looking to edit. Then, touch “Vibration” (which appears at the top of the subsequent list of alerts). At this point, a range of default iOS vibration patterns will be available to choose from, but at the bottom of the list, a button labeled “Create New Vibration” is also available for users to select. To create your own vibration pattern for your chosen alert, touch this button.

At the next screen, users will be able to “tap out” their chosen vibration pattern using their iPhone’s touch screen. Once you’ve done this, you’ll also be able to preview your custom pattern using the “Play” icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Your iPhone will then buzz out the vibration pattern using the handset’s built-in motor. From here, completing the process is as simple as touching “Save,” and choosing a name for the alert.

Touch your iPhone's screen to record a custom vibration pattern. It's as simple as that.

Touch your iPhone’s screen to record a custom vibration pattern. It’s as simple as that.

Our tip: Try holding down your finger on the iPhone’s screen for longer in order to increase the intensity of your vibration. This can really add prominence to your custom vibration patterns.

There you have it – creating your own vibration patterns on iOS is as simple as one, two, three (or, as we prefer, buzz, buzz, BUZZ!). Remember to create unique patterns for each notification type for a truly personalized iOS notification setup. Once configured, it should be easier than ever for iPhone owners to distinguish between vibration notifications. For any comments or questions, feel free to use the text field below.

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