Apple warns iOS 16's haptic keyboard could impact battery life

Low battery alert on the iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: MKBHD)

Apple has warned iPhone owners that they could experience worse battery life if they enable iOS 16's new haptic keyboard feature.

The new haptic keyboard, made available via September 12's release of iOS 16, causes the iPhone's Taptic Engine to vibrate slightly ever so slightly when a button is pressed on the on-screen keyboard. But Apple warns that vibration takes power, and your battery life could suffer for it.

Charged up

Apple made the admission in a new support document first spotted by 9to5Mac. It doesn't go into great detail, however, simply noting that "turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone.”

There's no explanation of just how much we should expect battery life to be impacted, or how much typing someone would need to do to notice an issue. However, it stands to reason that spinning up a vibration motor every time a key is pressed would use battery life. But after using iOS 16 during the beta process since June, we haven't noticed much of an issue. If you're using a brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max, you're very unlikely to, we suspect.

The feature, one of the best iPhone additions for people who type a ton, is just one of the new features offered by iOS 16. The others include the ability to edit and even delete iMessages, while Mail users can also unsend emails as well as schedule the sending of others. But the biggest feature of all is support for more customizable Home Screens, including widgets. If you're yet to take iOS 16 for a spin, now might be a good time to fix that.

Apple is already testing iOS 16.1, too. The new update will bring support for Live Activities as well as Matter smart home technology to the iPhone for the first time.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.