Haptics with VoiceOver in iOS

iOS & iPadOS

Hello all,

I really enjoy the vibration feedback that TalkBack [Android] gives to the user. It helped. But since I moved to iPhone just last year, I really missed the tactile feedback. If anyone is requesting something similar, please reply.




Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Monday, December 30, 2019

This feature was just added in iOS 13 and should be on by default. If you go into VoiceOver settings you can customise which events should play a sound or trigger a haptic.

However, and this could be why you didn't see this yourself, the haptics are designed to be very suddle and need the latest taptic engine. So they are only available on the iPhone 8 and newer as well as the X/XS/11 series.

Submitted by TornadicSupercell on Monday, December 30, 2019

In reply to by Piotr Machacz

That would make sense. I only have a 6S running iOS 13.2.3. I wish they brought it to the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Though the iPhone 6s has a Taptic Engine, apple has not programmed an API that would allow it to be widely used in applications. This is probably because of the Taptic Engine’s inferior specifications which would prevent it from giving consistent and satisfying feedback when activated. The iPhone SE lacks a Taptic Engine entirely, instead using the vibration motor found in the iPhone 6+ and earlier. It cannot produce the “Tapping” sensation and can only buzz, thus creating an inefficient user experience (the buzzes created by this motor are also very loud so they would degrade the user experience.) I’m not sure why the iPhone 7 series does not support this feature, as there is an API for its Taptic Engine created by Apple, but I do know that the engines found in the iPhone 8 and X series, as well as newer models, are superior.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Let's face it, we've all heard the rattling buzz of a phone whether in a case or not, and the buzz of the motor being as you said, louder then the taps. If I were designing it, I would do away with the motor and just put the haptick engine in. For one thing, I like the feedback when typing, opening an app, i'd be putting it to do something as an app is closed. For another thing, i'd haptick the lock and unlock as well as answer and end call actions as well. Maybe if the engines get speciffic enough it might happen. The only downside I see to my argument is that with a thicker case such as I have with rubber and plastic, it is disappointing to wonder how much more strong the engine is, because obviously it's minimized by the coverings.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The taptic engine is 1 of the best things Apple implemented in the newer iPhones in my opinion.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

I've ben playing with this since android 2017 I love it with apple. I disabled the stuff I din't care for, but yeah it's quite cool.

Submitted by TornadicSupercell on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Knowing that the haptics with VoiceOver in iOS 13 for the iPhone 8 and later is great. But, the disappointment is that it doesn't support the following devices:

• iPhone 6S (2015)
• iPhone 6s+ (2015)

• iPhone 7 (2016)
• iPhone 7+ (2016)
I understand if it has inferior specs compared to the A-11, A-12, and A-13 devices, but knowing Apple, they should be able to deliver this feature to the above mentioned devices.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

As I've stated before, Apple hasn't widely supported the taptic engines on the phones you mentioned in your latest comment for a reason other than processor. The iPhones 6s and 7 series are both supported by the latest version of iOS with no issues so there is no processor-related reason to not support haptic feedback on those devices. Though the taptic engines on those phones can provide occasional feedback (such as for 3d touch, occasional Siri request confirmations and the mute switch), the engines are not robust enough and don't provide a satisfying enough feedback to meet Apple's standards for inclusion in this feature, and that is for good reason. I distinctively remember going to a Best Buy to test the different iPhone models with my parents in order to decide what model I should get. The home button on the iPhone 7 felt more like a buzz than the crisp tapping sensation produced by the engine in the iPhone 8. Seeing as the taptic engines only improve year after year, it's reasonable to assume that the iPhone 6s would have a worse engine than the 7, which produced a buzz-like sensation when activated. If Apple offered taptics when navigating through screens to VoiceOver users using iPhones in the 6s or 7 series, they would no doubt be slightly upset because of the lack-luster feedback the engines give as they navigate through the UI.

Hi. I just thought I should make it known that, on the iPhone 7 and 7+, you can get taptic feedback when you’re typing, but that’s it. I own a seven and an eight, the eight being my primary phone. And I have Taptic set for everything, and I love it

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, January 2, 2020

Well it does not work well, sometimes when I get message it works and not. When I rase volume or down it does not work. Even when I do hard reset it does not. iOS 13 is garbage and hope iOS 14 will be call lucky 14. I do not care for unlucky 13.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, January 2, 2020

I have almost no. Issues with haptic. iOs 13 now that they fixed most of theeproblems is very good, and 14 and 15 can only get better. I did report the haptic disappearing with vo on, but the fix is easy enough.