Alto's Adventure Among the First iOS Games to Support Haptic Feedback

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,930
11,221



Snowman has announced that Alto's Adventure has been updated with in-game haptic feedback on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, making it one of the first-ever iOS games to support the new Taptic Engine.


Now, when playing the game, users will experience subtle vibrations when completing in-game tasks, such as collecting a wayward llama, sliding over an ice boost, or snapping a shot in Photo Mode. Even small interactions such as reaching minimum or maximum zoom are now accompanied by haptic feedback.
Thanks to the expanded Taptic Engine, we've been able to pinpoint exciting moments in a run and tie them to more precise vibrational feedback. Now, you'll feel a nice jolt of satisfaction upon collecting a wayward llama or sliding over an ice boost. The golden burst of a super coin or powdery landing of a huge combo will hopefully be a little more thrilling.

We've even tried to give some consideration to calmer moments: reaching minimum & maximum zoom or snapping the perfect shot in Photo Mode will vibrate like a real camera, immersing you in the joys of being your own mountain photographer. The list goes on, but rather than spoil it all, we're excited for players to stumble onto each new interaction and find their favourite ones.
The functionality is made possible by an expanded Taptic Engine in Apple's latest iPhones. Whereas the Taptic Engine on iPhone 6s was limited to 3D Touch and very few other system interactions, haptic feedback now has much wider iOS support, and developers are able to put the Taptic Engine to work in third-party apps.

Alto's Adventure is a beautiful endless runner in which you control a snowboarder through procedurally generated mountains and valleys, amid thunderstorms, blizzards, fog, rainbows, and shooting stars. The game features physics-based gameplay, along with fully dynamic lighting and weather effects.


Alto's Adventure is $3.99 on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad. Version 1.4.1 is available now as a free update for existing users.

Article Link: Alto's Adventure Among the First iOS Games to Support Haptic Feedback
 

ghost187

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
954
2,000
Honestly, is that huge Taptic Engine worth the internal space inside the iOS devices?

Especially in the Apple Watch, it's almost as big as the battery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kdarling

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
Don't have a 7/7 Plus yet, so can't comment on how this all actually works, but I like that Snowman is providing constant, significant updates to Alto's Adventure. Adding things like 3D Touch functionality and haptic feedback are nice, free updates, and more developers should be trying to think of meaningful ways to incorporate these features.

Good on you, Snowman!
 

redscull

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
782
740
Texas
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,283
2,394
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
Because "Taptic" is new, newness brings hype, and you get articles like this one reporting on it for the sake of reporting.
 

Watabou

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,424
753
United States
I'd trade the huge Taptic Engine (read vibrator) for a jack any day of the week.

What's the difference between the 6S and 7 anyway?
Honestly, the jack had to die eventually. Apple just sped that up. I, for one, am super excited about the world of wireless headphones. And I say this even though I own two $200+ wired headphones: AKG K7XX and a ZMF Mod of the Fostex T50RP.

It's not just the taptic engine that they can improve on. They have additional space now for future additions as well. In fact, I hope they go after the lightning port next in the 2017 iPhone. I welcome it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: redbeard331

Xavier

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2006
2,601
1,192
Columbus
Yes. The sense of touch is a key part of the Apple Watch experience. Extending that to iPhone is welcome.
The haptic feedback was the thing i was most excited about moving from my iPhone 6. It's great and you feel your commands instead of just observing. I wish haptic would go even deeper into the device(s) apple makes in the future. I will have to try to app and hopefully more apps follow suit.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,310
812
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
One is pressure based, the other is pattern based. Put it next to a game like Canabalt (the Android version of course) and the difference is right there. They both use it for impact (and in Android you might get a constant buzz for more immersive effect), but with vibrations, that's a short or long buzz, and with Taptic you're just getting that light, medium, or heavy tap.
 
Last edited:

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,276
2,898
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
The best way I can explain this is variation. The old vibration motors were traditional motors with a weight attached that was cut in half. As the motor spun the offset weight caused an imbalanced vibration. Like a car tire out of balance.

Haptic, while still a vibration motor, runs on an axis. It also has the ability to vary its level so that it can adjust the "feel" of the vibration. Think of it like someone tapping you. It can be a soft tap or it can be a hard press. Old vibration motors only had one setting. So, the best I can tell you outside of trying it yourself is variation.
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,886
23,432
I was initially very excited by the prospect of haptic feedback in a mobile phone, imagining a touchscreen keyboard you can feel, icons that actually wiggle betheath your fingers as you drag them, and apps that simulate resistance to your touch as you swipe between pages.

Suffice it to say Apple's implementation was a bit lackluster, but anything that moves iPhone in that direction is welcomed.
 

naeS1Sean

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2011
762
1,230
Scranton, PA
Honestly, is that huge Taptic Engine worth the internal space inside the iOS devices?

Especially in the Apple Watch, it's almost as big as the battery.
I think so. I love the feedback.
[doublepost=1475180358][/doublepost]
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
Have you actually felt the difference between regular vibration and haptic?
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,198
3,485
Twin Cities Minnesota
How is this fundamentally different from using the phone's vibrate? I get that technologically it's a zap more so than a buzz, but from a user perspective, could I even tell the difference? Just seems like a rather boring feature. If vibration feedback truly made a game better, wouldn't they have been including that for the last however many years via vibrate?
It is actually noticeably different. The issue with vibration in the past is that it required a certain RPM to be reached for the desired result. The way Taptic works is more similar to a Linear actuator, and due to the small size of their design,reaches a desired frequency almost instantly, and Stopps just as quickly. This allows it to shift frequencies much more quickly, and in some cases, can trick the brain to think vibration is coming from different areas, or like you are actually pressing into a device.

In some ways it is like comparing old Filiment style lights, with new technology LEDs. Or more relevantly, how a speaker reproduces sound versus a rotating siren.
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,149
3,193
I was initially very excited by the prospect of haptic feedback in a mobile phone, imagining a touchscreen keyboard you can feel, icons that actually wiggle betheath your fingers as you drag them, and apps that simulate resistance to your touch as you swipe between pages.

Suffice it to say Apple's implementation was a bit lackluster, but anything that moves iPhone in that direction is welcomed.
I don’t see what the fuss is about. Android has had haptic feedback for many years and what Apple does is not that much better, even though the ’Taptic Engine’ is a decent piece of technology. A vibrating phone doesn’t enhance my sensation of the touch screen or the home button when it’s still only coming from one motor. It won’t give you the kind of feedback that a screen will give to you when you press a virtual button or the feeling of pressing an actual home button. The phone as a whole just... vibrates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6836838
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.