The height of the Android-iOS fanboy wars are years in the past. The two dueling operating systems have more or less converged into bland, uniform competence, and the age of the hip-and-exclusive iOS-only app are all but over. One tiny but crucial difference that still remains is haptic vibration on the virtual keyboard: Android has it and iOS does not. But a recent update to Google’s Gboard keyboard is closing that gap too.
According to 9to5Google, an update to the virtual keyboard will bring Android-style vibrations to the iOS keyboard; that is, a small buzz after every press. It’s a feature that’s never been available on the iPhone’s default keyboard, and has only been available in limited forms with most of the third-party keyboards the iOS has supported since iOS 8. Popular keyboard SwiftKey, for example, has only supported ‘limited’ haptic feedback for certain keys. The new Gboard changes that (for users with an iPhone 7 and up).
In the abstract, haptic feedback is a relatively superfluous feature. You can use a phone just as fine without it. But for a lifelong Android users like myself, a phone with no vibration on its keyboard can feel viscerally alien. Silly though it may sound, it’s one of the reasons I’ve never seriously considered jumping ship. And though this won’t be enough to make me switch allegiances, I’m at glad that my friends on the other side of the mobile divide will get the chance to experience the glory of a every-press haptic feedback.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics