The iPhone 7 packs in a bigger, more sophisticated Taptic Engine that one in the iPhone 6s. Taptic Engine, of course, is Apple’s fancy marketing moniker for zig-zag springs that shake a weight to produce vibration. The iPhone 7’s enhanced Taptic Engine is capable of reproducing a range of subtle vibrations.
In fact, it’s so good that Apple has decided to provide a new API to developers to add custom vibratory feedback to their apps. If you dislike this feature, you can turn off iPhone 7 haptics for things like system controls and other interactions.
Repair wizards over at iFixit flew out to Japan to obtain their iPhone 7 Plus (in Rose Gold), performing their ritual teardown dance which has helped confirm what we’ve been suspecting all along: that a second grille at the bottom doesn’t house a second speaker.
Other interesting observations gleaned from peeking under the hood of the iPhone 7 Plus include a replaceable Home button, a lot bigger Taptic Engine than in the iPhone 6s, a bigger 2,900 mAh battery, dust and water-proofing measures and other tidbits.
A new patent filing by Apple, which surfaced Tuesday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database, provides yet another indication that Apple’s engineers continue work on perfecting haptic feedback in its products. According to the filing, the company has invented a multi-axis haptic feedback solution capable of producing vibrations in different directions, based on whether a user holds the device in portrait or landscape orientation.
It’s a nice feeling when software works as it should, but that’s not always the case. In the case of the Apple Watch, notifications that are supposed to be tapping on your wrist may not work when you expect them to.
If you’re having problems with your Apple Watch not receiving the notifications your iPhone is putting out, then you’ll want to follow the steps in this piece to troubleshoot what’s going on and fix the problem.
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.
When Apple says that a redesigned vibrator inside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, branded as the Taptic Engine, gives you “real-time feedback” in the form of subtle taps, the company is not exaggerating. The new oscillating mechanism, now enclosed with its own aluminum shell, reaches its full power in just one cycle (and stops just as quickly) versus ten or more oscillations for most other smartphones.
This allows for a more precise level of haptic feedback to accompany the new Peek and Pop deep-presses provided by 3D Touch. As part of iFixit’s detailed teardown analysis of the new iPhones, the repair wizards have blasted the Taptic Engine with X-rays to show it in action.