The launch of a new iPhone is never far off and millions upon millions of people use cutting-edge phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google Pixel and others. One clever addition to many of these new devices is haptic feedback. Haptic responses make using mobile devices a more tactile and engaging experience, so it’s an important consideration when developing a mobile app. But what is haptic feedback, exactly? And how do you use haptic phone technology to your advantage as you embark upon the mobile app development process?
What is a Haptic Feedback Experience?
Haptic feedback is a vibrational response to taps, scrolls and slides made on a mobile device that simulates mechanical responses. In short, this technology allows the user to feel the device’s reaction as they type, hit buttons or perform other tasks. This tactile feedback also includes vibrations when your phone is in “silent mode.”
Haptic feedback app integration can make for a more engaging user experience (UX), while also making the device more user-friendly. For instance, if a button tap is associated with a small vibration, the user can be certain that their button tap registered. Without this feature, the user may be uncertain if they successfully tapped the button.
Application of Haptic Feedback
Chances are if your device contains a haptic engine, then you’ve experienced these mild vibrations yourself. On most enabled devices, haptic responses can be felt when scrolling through states or dates, when receiving a Snapchat message while using the app, or while reloading your Starbucks balance.
Mobile games are also taking advantage of haptic technology to take user engagement to the next level by creating vibrational responses to enemy encounters, collecting coins or completing a level. Even vehicle navigation systems are using haptics to create a richer experience.
Haptic Feedback is Actually (Really) Old News
Though the addition of haptic feedback is exciting for smartphone users, countless kids have enjoyed it for more than 20 years! Nintendo released the Rumble Pack in 1997, which provided “force feedback” during certain gameplay situations, such as firing a gun or receiving damage to your character. As a child of the 90s, I remember when this immersive technology was introduced. With the addition of vibrations to the N64 controller, playing Star Fox went from a moderately entertaining activity to a life-and-death simulation that you knew you would never survive! And, it didn’t stop there. Haptic technology has been included on a myriad of game systems, from GameBoy to X-Box.
While the concept of vibrational feedback is old, modern hardware manufacturers are using it in more impressive and precise ways. For instance, Apple’s UI Feedback Generator simulates haptic sensations associated with different actions like the spin of a mechanical wheel or the click of a button.
How Haptics Improve UX
Clearly, haptic feedback is useful for many types mobile applications. Here are some its possible applications:
- Affirmative response to ‘Pull to Refresh’
- Sliders and Switches
- Option Scrolling (such as selecting your state from a list)
- Keyboard Clicking
- Response to long presses (accessing extra options on a Pinterest card)
- Pinch to Zoom (at minimum and maximum)
- During game play (attacks, gaining lives, passing levels)
If you’re ready to explore all the ways you can enhance your mobile app, 7T can help. We focus on your business first, ensuring that every investment you make has the potential to generate a positive and substantial ROI. From military-grade security to haptic feedback and beyond, we have the expertise you need to develop a mobile app that stands apart from the rest. With user retention being priority number one, you can’t afford to use a firm that promises anything less. Contact 7T today!