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

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David Cornish
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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. 

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

    Head to settings

    Obvious really - give the Settings app a tap.

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 1

    Select sounds

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

    Go figure. 

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 2

    Scroll through ringtones

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

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 3

    Select Custom

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

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 4

    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.

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 5

    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?

  • How to tell who's calling you by only the vibrations on your phone 6

    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. 

    Sneaky.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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