Daily Tip: How to set up custom vibration patterns in iOS 5 [Video]

Curious how to set up the new accessibility feature in iOS 5, namely the custom vibration patterns? Custom vibrations patterns let you set up uniquely identifiable series for contacts in your address book -- a handy feature to say the least!

Turning custom vibration patterns on

To get started, you'll first need to turn on custom vibrations from the accessibility settings:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap 'General'.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and select 'Accessibility'.
  4. Set the Custom Vibrations option to 'ON'.

Now that custom vibrations is enabled you'll be able to record your own custom vibration pattern. Follow these quick steps to record your own vibration, or just check out the video at the top of this post.

Recording your custom vibration pattern

  1. From the Settings app, tap 'Sounds'.
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom and tap 'Vibration'.
  3. Under the 'Custom' section, tap 'Create New Vibration'.

At this point you'll be presented with a recording screen asking you to tap anywhere in order to begin recording you custom vibration pattern. Custom vibrations have a maximum duration of 10 seconds, but you can simply tap 'Stop' when you're done recording your own vibration if you want something short and sweet.

Now just hit 'Save' and you'll be asked to name your new vibration pattern. Once you've done that, you'll be taken back to the Vibration settings pane with your new pattern automatically selected as your custom vibration.

Setting up your contacts

You can even set custom vibration patterns for individual contacts!

  1. Launch Phone or Contacts app in iOS 5 and select your desired contact, tap 'Edit' and scroll down until you see the vibration option. All contacts will be set to the default vibration you've selected from the settings app, but you can manually select your newly-created vibration pattern for any contact this way. You can also set a specific contact to only ring instead of vibrating at all.

That's it! Although Apple supplies you with five unique vibrations of their own, it's great that they've given users the ability to set their own custom vibration patterns in iOS 5. As always, let us know if we missed anything in the comments below, and enjoy your new custom vibration patterns!

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to set up custom vibration patterns in iOS 5 [Video]


Does iMessage still use it's own default vibration? I changed mine to "Heartbeat", but a text from an iMessage contact didn't use it.