Check Your Phone Less With Custom Text Vibrations

I get three kinds of texts:

  1. Texts from my wife, which I want to read immediately
  2. Texts from Lifehacker's podcast producer Levi Sharpe, which come five at a time
  3. Everything else, which can usually wait til later

I don't have a smartwatch, and when I'm deep in conversation over drinks, I hate to pull my phone out just to check a text. But I don't have to, because thanks to custom text vibrations, I know which texts are from my wife and need answering — and I know which text storms are from Levi, and can wait til my next bathroom break.

I assigned my wife's texts to a heartbeat vibration (one of Apple's standard choices), which is noticeably different from the default vibration, and is cute as hell. Everyone else gets the default vibration. If they text me a bunch in a row, I'll immediately pull out my phone; otherwise I'll wait.

But what about Levi, the absolute legend who can spread one sentence across ten texts? I made a custom "shave and a haircut" vibration. Now his text storms start a party in my pants, but the theme of that party is "there's not an emergency, that's just my good friend Levi."

So if you haven't already — and if you have, congrats, why are you reading this — here's how to assign custom text vibrations on your phone.

iPhone

  • Open your Contacts app (or the Contacts tab on your Phone app).
  • Choose the contact you want to assign a special vibration.
  • Tap "Edit" in the top right, then "Text Tone," then "Vibration."
  • Now choose from the standard options, or tap "Create New Vibration" to do that thing.

Android

Android doesn't include contact-specific text vibrations out of the box. Download an app like Good Vibrations, WhoIsIt, or Contact Vibrate to make and assign custom text vibrations.

Or Use "Do Not Disturb"

There's another way to handle all this: Use "Do Not Disturb" mode, but let certain contacts bypass it. (Offtime for Android provides a similar function.)

iPhone

  • Go into the Contacts app, choose your important contact, and tap "Edit" and "Text Tone."
  • Toggle "Emergency Bypass" so that contact still alerts you when Do Not Disturb is on.
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb.

Android

  • Open Settings and tap "Sound & notification."
  • Tap "Do not disturb" and "Priority only allows."
  • Tap "Messages" or "Calls" and select "From starred contacts only."
  • Open Contacts and star your important contacts.

This "Do Not Disturb" method is less nuanced, more binary. Most of the time I like to know whether I'm getting a text, even if I don't check it. But if you're diligent at turning on Do Not Disturb, it should make your pocket buzz a lot less.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now