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Advanced haptics are coming to Android with Qualcomm's help

Qualcomm and its partner Lofelt are aiming for iPhone-level quality.

Published onFebruary 23, 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display in hand 6
David Imel / Android Authority
  • Qualcomm and the Basslet’s creator, Lofelt, are teaming up to bring advanced haptics to Android.
  • A new software framework promises iPhone-like haptic feedback quality.
  • The two hope to make it a standard for Snapdragon-based phones.

Google clearly wants improved haptic feedback in Android 12, but some of its partners aren’t willing to rely solely on the new operating system for an upgrade. Qualcomm is teaming up with Lofelt (best known for its Basslet wrist subwoofer) to bring “advanced haptics” to Snapdragon-based Android phones.

The two are developing a universal framework and programming kit to give Android the sophisticated, tightly synchronized haptic feedback that would “otherwise be impossible” on Google’s platform, according to Lofelt. The company isn’t shy about the partnership’s goal — they want “parity” with the Taptic Engine found in the iPhone 6s and newer Apple handsets.

Related: The majority of you don’t use haptics

Qualcomm and Lofelt haven’t provided a timetable for when you could expect their haptic feedback to reach Android. Don’t count on the framework being available at the same time as Android 12, in other words. However, they’re hoping Snapdragon phone makers will license the technology and make it a relatively common sight (or rather, touch) in mobile devices.

This could be an important step, even if it leaves many non-Snapdragon phones hanging. High-quality feedback can add to a game’s immersion, or make an app feel more responsive. You might enjoy your Android phone more if the usual haptic buzzes and rattles were replaced with subtle taps and clicks.

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