One of the upgrades with iOS 16 that’s a bit under the radar is the ability to use haptic feedback with the native keyboard. Here’s how to turn on the iPhone haptic keyboard and why it’s preferable to third-party keyboards.
While we’ve seen third-party keyboards like Google’s Gboard offer haptic feedback for a while, many people prefer to stick with the native iOS keyboard. One of the big reasons is privacy as third-party keyboards often ask for access to track all of your keyboard input.
Fortunately, Apple has made it possible for users to enable vibrations on the native stock iOS keyboard for each tap, providing a physical confirmation for users as they type.
Apple says these vibrations help serve as a “confirmation” as a user types. However, haptic keyboard feedback is turned off by default. Therefore, one has to explicitly turn on haptic keyboard feedback in iOS 16
Here’s how to turn keyboard vibration on or off on iPhone running iOS 16.
How to turn on keyboard vibration on iPhone in iOS 16
To enable the haptic keyboard on an iPhone, make sure that Vibration mode is turned on. Go to Settings, tap Accessibility and then select Touch. Turn on the switch for Vibration if it’s not already on.
To test it out, open an app that triggers the keyboard, such as Notes, Reminder, Messages or Mail. Start tapping the keys on the keyboard to experience it with just the clicking sound turned on (Figure B).
You can also set up your iPhone to use the haptics keyboard in Ring mode versus Silent mode. To do this, go to Settings, and select Sounds & Haptics. Tap the setting for Keyboard Feedback. Turn on the switch for Haptic. Go back to the Sounds & Haptics screen, and make sure the switches are enabled for Play Haptics in Ring Mode and Play Haptics in Silent mode
Return to the keyboard-based app you were using and continue tapping keys. Experience how tapping feels using the haptic keyboard to see if you prefer it enabled or disabled. You can switch back and forth with it on and off to get a better sense of it (Figure D).
You can also try typing with the Sound turned off. Return to the Keyboard Feedback screen under Sounds & Haptics and turn off the switch for Sound. Try different combinations of Sound and Haptic enabled and disabled to judge which setting works best for you.
Apple cautions that turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone. Without more details, it’s difficult to know if this is much of an issue. But, you may want to keep haptics turned off for a typical day and then turned on for another typical day to gauge any potential impact to your phone’s battery life.