Apple’s iOS 16 is out for iPhones and it brings plenty of new features along with new ways to interact with the software. What it also adds is keyboard haptics. Turning on haptics on your iPhone’s keyboard basically adds vibration feedback when tapping to type using the on-screen keys. But this also means that the haptics motor is now being used more frequently on iPhones than before and that could potentially affect battery life. In order to clarify doubts, Apple has now cautioned users that turning on the feature may impact the battery life.
Apple had steered clear from adding vibrational feedback on its software keyboard to any of its mobile devices until the latest version of iOS 16, which was recently made available on older and recent iPhone models. An Apple support document has clarified that it does impact battery life. While the support page’s main purpose is to explain the feature and how to go about enabling it, it also has some fine print below, clarifying that “turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone.”
While this should clear any doubts from users about keyboard haptics consuming battery life, Apple has not specified which iPhones this applies to so it’s safe to assume that it affects all iPhone models, new, recent, and old.
Haptics feedback for the software keyboard on iPhone is switched off by default on recent and older iPhone models. To switch it on, users need to open the Settings app, then tap on Sounds & Haptics, and then enter Keyboard Feedback menu and switch on the Haptic toggle.
Vibration feedback has been present on Android smartphones for a long time, but has never affected battery life solely because devices running Google’s software have always had large batteries. Apple’s adoption of (initially) smaller and (later) slimmer form factors that also added larger displays often meant that older iPhones would not have enough space to fit in larger batteries. With more power efficient processors on recent iPhones this should not be a problem, but given that the battery capacity on regular-sized iPhone models still hasn’t gotten any larger (thanks to good hardware efficiency and software optimisation), there is a chance that this new add-on feature could have a mild impact on battery life on non-Plus or non-Max models.
Apart from haptic feedback on keyboards for iPhone, iOS 16 also brings a revamped lock screen, an improved focus mode, and the ability to edit and unsend messages.