In a recent post, Neil Cybart breaks down what sets the iPhone 7 apart from other iPhones, and why it’s the first device from Apple that introduces augmented reality. But I’ll focus on two other points from his post: iteration and haptic feedback.
Each year, Apple’s goal with the iPhone business is to come up with a new model that is more capable and functional than the previous year’s model. Apple accomplished that goal with the iPhone 7.
I think there’s a misunderstanding about the iPhone and what Apple is building. The average person hears about a new iPhone and thinks it’s supposed to be radically different from last year, with tons of new features. The truth is, though, Apple believes in iteration. That boring feature that you overlooked on an iPhone several years ago has been iterated so many times, without starting over, that it’s now its own juggernaut. Iterating is such an underrated term. It changes everything. And pertaining to Apple, take a look back at any feature on an iPhone from years ago. Now go look at that same feature on the iPhone 7. They’ve polished that one feature so much that it’s hard to imagine how it works so well. That’s because of slow and steady iterations. It wasn’t accomplish in a year.
In what came as quite a surprise, I have been impressed with the haptic feedback expansion seen with the iPhone 7. Everything from editing photos to setting clock alarms now includes subtle vibrations. The primary reason the additional haptic feedback has stood out to me is that the feeling of using a smartphone has changed. Instead of just typing and swiping on a piece of glass, it now feels like I am interacting with the same piece of glass in a different way.
The haptic feedback on the iPhone 7 has become the main reason to own this new device. And it was extremely undersold by Apple. While doing my usual tasks and browsing on the iPhone, I now get these subtle vibrations as I’m scrolling through a list of choices, as if I’m actually physically going through them. When I zoomed all the way out of a picture on Facebook earlier, there’s was a quick haptic-bump, as if I hit a wall. These little vibrations happen frequently throughout the operating system. It’s like iOS has come to life. You won’t truly understand and appreciate this feature until you experience it on your own.