We're not huge fans of the Settings app on iOS devices. There are so many options and sub-menus that a few hidden gems are buried out of general view and are easily overlooked. One of these is the ability to create custom vibration patterns which can be used in conjunction with personalised ringtones.

The custom vibration setting is designed to make the phone easier to use for deaf users, but it's useful for everyone. To enable custom vibrations, open the Settings app, tap General, then scroll right down to Accessibility. Again, scroll down until you see Custom Vibrations, which are turned off by default.

Enable custom vibration

Once enabled, you can then open the Contacts app to assign a custom pattern to individuals, or you can set one for everyone in the Sounds sub-menu of General settings (the setting is right at the bottom of this menu).

Assuming that you'd rather set custom patterns for a few important people, head to the Contacts app and locate the first person. Tap the Edit button at the top, then scroll down until you see vibration.

Select pattern

Tap it and you'll see that it's set to default. There are five standard patterns to choose between: Alert, Heartbeat, Rapid, S.O.S and Symphony. Below this is a Custom section where you can create your own patterns.

To do this, tap Create New Vibration and simply tap the screen to begin recording your pattern. When you've finished, tap Stop. You can replay the recording, save it or tap Record to start over. When you tap Save, you'll be asked to name your vibration so you can identify it in the custom list later. The pattern you just saved will be selected as the vibration for that contact unless you change it.

Record custom vibration

You can then record various patterns which you can assign to different contacts, going through your contact list and editing each of them to select a custom vibration. When that contact calls you, the iPhone will vibrate using the pattern you've assigned.

Save new vibration

Custom ringtones and text tones

Along the same lines of the custom vibration, you can also select ringtones and text tones on a per-person basis. Find the contact for whom you want to set a custom tone and tap the Edit button at the top of the screen. Scroll down to find the ringtone and text tone options. Tap each and select the tone you want for that person.

It may take a while before you remember which person has a particular tone, but it's a great way to know whether you need to answer a particular call or text without getting your phone out of your pocket.