This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone

A handy way to find out who's calling without setting new ringtones

How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone

We've all been there. Your phone's on silent, trapped in the dark clutches of your jeans pocket. It's ringing, but your current surroundings mean you'll need to expend a great deal of effort in extracting it, or that you might cause offence in doing so.

If only you had some way of working out who was calling you from the pulse being set off by your handset... oh wait, there totally is.

Sure, custom vibrations have been around ever since iOS 7 launched - but have you ever had a poke around to actually make use of this brilliant silent feature?

Here's how to set different pulses for all manner of alters. 

Head to settings

Obvious really - give the Settings app a tap.

Select sounds

Counter intuitive though it might be, the custom vibration functions actually live under Sounds.

Go figure. 

Scroll through ringtones

You'll want to head to Vibration which lives within the Ringtone options.

Select Custom

Again, a bit obvious here, but you'll want to scroll down to the section titled Custom Vibration

Tap away

From this screen, your iPhone will translate whatever pattern you tap out onto the screen as a new vibration.

It essentially transforms your screen into one of those old Morse code transmitters from [insert preferred World War II drama here], allowing you to rattle out dashes, dots and any other variety of rattling beats you care to record.

Once you're done, hit Save.

Name it

You can now give your new vibration a name.

Rather than going for something generic, you can start outlining exactly who you want a specific vibration to attach to: given that you can set your custom vibration to an individual contact, why not set a heart-attack pulse to someone you don't want to answer a call from?

Set your custom vibrations

You'll now be able to select this custom vibration for an alert from a specific app, or call contact - meaning you can identify who's calling you without having to take your phone out of your pocket.