Taptic Engine vs Vibration

If you’re rocking a new iPhone 6s, then you’ve no doubt felt the difference that the new Taptic Engine makes when it comes to vibrations. Vibrations are now audibly quieter on the iPhone 6s, yet still just as strong, if not stronger. If you’ve ever felt a vibration from the Apple Watch, a device the necessitated the creation of the Taptic Engine, then you already understand the difference.

You’ll also notice a new default vibration option for text tones in the Settings app. The new default vibration, called Synchronized, replaces the older Staccato default vibration from older devices. Synchronized allows for the Taptic Engine to sync with the sound of a selected text tone. This provides users with a unique vibration that matches each selected text tone, which is really cool.

We’ve created a video highlighting some of the differences between iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone 6 Plus’ vibration patterns. It’s a change that goes unnoticed to the eye, but you can certainly feel and even hear the differences.

With Apple’s new Taptic Engine found in the iPhone 6s, vibrations are now much more subtle, which will make it less likely that anyone besides the iPhone owners knows when a vibration alert is incoming.

Vibration iPhone 6s Text Tones Synchronized

iPhone 6 Plus (left) versus iPhone 6s Plus

Along with the new Synchronized vibration, you’ll find a new Accent vibration, which is the default for Ringtone vibration on the iPhone 6s. Apple’s motivations for using the new Taptic Engine likely stemmed from its inclusion of 3D Touch, a feature that heavily benefits from the nuanced vibration patterns that the old vibration motor couldn’t accommodate. But even users who aren’t interested in 3D Touch derive added benefits from the quieter engine that’s capable of real-time feedback.

What do you think about the Taptic Engine in the iPhone 6s? It’s a wonderful change in my opinion, and I would hate to go back to the old. It really makes the old vibrations seem antiquated and less smart.

  • Chris

    I definitely like that it’s quieter, I much prefer the feeling rather than the noise which can be more annoying than the ring tone itself.

  • Is the synchronized vibration feature only available for the iPhone 6s Plus?

    • Merman123

      You know it!

      • Brandon

        you’re wrong, its on my 6s

      • Merman123

        I thought he meant on the “s” phones only. My bad.

      • askep3

        I don’t see it, I checked my settings and it only has the options that the previous generation phones had? Anyone know how to fix this?

        FYI I restored my iPhone 6s to the backup of my iPhone 6

    • Highlander

      I have a 6S Plus and it doesn’t have it… must be because i restored from backup.

      • Angel Gonzalez

        Me too. I don’t have it and I also restored from a backup

      • somaxd

        are you on 9.0 or 9.0.1?

      • Angel Gonzalez


      • Merman123

        Make sure you are in text tone and not ringtone.

      • Franck Kamayou

        don’t have it either.

      • Chris Weaver

        Curious, are they on 9.1? I don’t see it on mine…

    • Brandon

      its on the standard 6s as well

  • Chelu

    Hi Jeff, some old Nokia phones when receiving sms the vibration was synchronized with the tone!

    • Morgan Freeman

      Shh… 😉

      • yourmomsbox

        nobodys saying apple is first and you are acting like “deez nut got em”

      • Morgan Freeman

        No, I was just stroking the guy’s ego. Easy, fella! 🙂

      • yourmomsbox

        u like fishstick mate?

    • DevXav


      IKR… Even having a 5s, I still carry my old nokia-vibration-synchronism-capable along with me just in case i need a weapon..

      • Chelu

        That’s a lethal weapon!

  • HfzD°

    Turns out it only works with Apple text tones. So if you installed your own custom text tone, synchronized (default) doesn’t work.

  • John Wickham

    The taptic engine feels suuuper nice. It’s really quiet compared to the old vibration motor, which I really appreciate. But moreover, the patterns it can make are way more nuanced, or they have more meaning. Really cool experience.

  • Cameron Nelms

    I’ve actually synchronized my vibration with some of my tones in the custom vibrations awhile ago. Pretty cool to see apple have a separate setting for this now

  • GTA 5

    Hi i think its a nice improvement because it feels more responsive than the previous one. This one has different feels of tap therefore makes it more unique when using it!

  • andyr354

    I just feel them on my wrist with the watch instead.

  • siddique

    u call this a feature?

    • DevXav

      Oh no, it’s not a feature..

      A feature can be defined by Huawei and the future android devices now having: a weight balance.

      Dude, it’s so USEFUL and AWESOME.

      Apple should kneel before that!

      • robadi cacca

        Huawei and the future of android hahahahahahahahahahahah… weight balance hahahahaha :)..

  • ravinigga

    Is better especially when I’m on school.
    Then the teacher don’t hear it 🙂

  • AminTj

    Hi Jeff, may I know what’s name of your iPhone 6s case?
    anyone know?

  • ieatcalcium

    You could make a song out of the different vibration tones

  • JoyVoltenburg

    I don’t like it. I used the silent feature all the time while in meetings so the ringer or alert sound wouldn’t bother anyone else on my 5s. Now, with the new vibration in the 6s, I can’t even hear or notice that the phone is vibrating unless it is in my hand or looking at it to see a notification pop up for a short time. If it is in my jeans pocket I don’t notice it vibrating at all. In order to hear a text coming in silently, you have to turn the sound down, but not completely off. So, it’s not a simple switch from audio ON to audio OFF for alerts any longer.

  • ThekingofNY30

    This is bad for people like me that rely on the vibration to alert us without annoying others by using a ringtone. It is worse than the 6 in that I don’t hear OR feel it even in my front pocket, on a desk right in front of me, etc. Wish there was a way to go back to a 6. Again, to make it clear I can’t turn the ringtone on with my job so I relied on silent with vibration and now I am missing calls and texts.

  • love the new taptic engine. it’s really better

  • Guest_47

    It’s odd that it’s only available for receiving alerts but not for receiving calls. You can set your alerts to use ringtones or alert tones, and the sychronised vibration works. But if you set your calls to use ringtones or alert tones, the option is gone. Looks like a bug rather than by design.

  • Jason

    im hard of hearing and i depend on the vibrate function to wake me up in the morning, does it still vibrate strong enough ? (for those who are hearing, put ear plugs on, then nap till the alarm wakes you up)