Tip: create custom vibrations for messages and phone calls on your iPhone

By , Jul 6, 2016

phone vibrating

Your iPhone is probably your number one tool for communication between yourself and your friends or family, but out of the box, every vibration you get from a text message, whether it’s an SMS or iMessage, or a phone call, vibrates exactly the same way.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can create a custom vibration on your iPhone and assign it to any contact(s) you may have.

Custom vibrations and why they’re useful

iOS comes with a wonderful feature that lets you make custom vibrations, which is perfect for giving friends one type of vibration, co-workers another, and your family another. This makes it even easier to tell who’s contacting you without even pulling your iPhone out of your pocket.

You can assign custom vibrations to individual people, which means you can give each person their own vibration, or you can assign one group of people with one type of vibration and another group of people with another vibration.

For messages that you consider more important, you may want to make a nice strong vibration that you know you’ll feel, and for messages that you consider less important, you may want to make a slightly calmer vibration that can be felt, but may slip your attention until later on.

So here’s how you will do that…

Creating the vibration

The first thing you need to do is actually make yourself a custom vibration or two. To do that, follow these steps:

1) Open the Settings app and launch the Sounds preferences pane.

2) Open the Text Tone cell.

Create Custom Vibration 1

3) Next, tap on the Vibration cell to reveal all your available vibration patterns.

4) Open the Create New Vibration cell to move on to making a new one.

5) Now you will be presented with the custom vibration creation interface. Tap and hold in the pattern you want to use for your vibration. You can use a series of light taps, long taps, and anything else you want.

Create Custom Vibration 2

Note: As you do this, a blue bar will fill at the bottom and the darker sections indicate where it will vibrate. You can use the Play button to test our the vibration you’ve made and see if you like it.

6) When finished, you can tap on the Save button to save the vibration you’ve created.

7) You can now give your vibration a name, and then tap on the next Save button.

Create Custom Vibration 3

8) Now you should see your custom vibration under the Custom header in your list of available vibration patterns.

Assigning it to a contact

After your custom vibration is created, you can assign it to a contact either for text messages, or phone calls, or both. To do that, you’ll follow these steps:

1) Launch the Contacts app from your Home screen and tap on a contact you want to assign the vibration to.

2) With their contact card open, tap on the Edit button at the top right of the interface.

Assign Contact New Vibration


3) Select the Vibration field under either the Text Tone or Ringtone option to set a custom vibration for the contact.

Note: If you set the vibration under ringtone, it will only play when the contact calls you. If you set the vibration under text tone, it will only play when the contact messages you via SMS or iMessage.

4) Now pick the vibration pattern you created earlier from the list of available patterns and tap on the Done button at the top right.

Assign Contact New Vibration 2


That’s all there is to it!

Wrapping up

Now, not only have you created your own custom vibration pattern, but you’ve assigned it to a contact. You can make as many custom vibrations you want and assign them to as many of your contacts as you want to. It’s perfect for having a head start in knowing who is really contacting you while your iPhone is in your pocket without having to pull out your phone to check.

Also read: Enabling the SMS character counter on your iPhone

Do you like having custom vibrations for contacts on your iPhone? Share in the comments!

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