Don’t take that tone with me, iPhone

How to make your iPhone less intrusive


Devices that make sounds have always annoyed me. Siri and I haven’t talked in years. I cringe in friends’ cars when their phone tells us to make a right on CA-one. In a city we are bombarded with a myriad of man-made sounds. In the woods a robotic voice or a bleep-boop is an intrusion on the experience of the natural environment.

Even on vibrate, and especially while sitting on a table, that double tap buzz of a text is an intrusion on the moment. But for an audiophobe like me, vibrate is the only option. Lord help me if I ever know what my ring tone sounds like.

You can minimize that buzz by making your own vibrations. iOS 7 introduced a lovely feature: when you already had iMessage open, your phone would give a single quick vibrate to let you know there was a new text. I thought, why not just make it always do that?

  1. Go into your settings and open “Sounds”
  2. Choose “Text Tone” and then “Vibration”
  3. Hit “Create New Vibration”
  4. Very lightly touch the screen and then hit “Stop”
  5. Choose “Save” and name it. (I called mine tickle)

Texts will now feel like a friend lightly touching you on the shoulder and saying hey. And if you miss a text, you’ll definitely see it the next time you check Twitter or Facebook. Try it for a week and thank me later.

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