It's no secret that haptics are becoming an increasingly important factor in smartphones. Android haptics have always been a bit of a mixed bag, requiring a mix of premium hardware and excellent software. As these components continue to improve each year, Google has been slowly tweaking its software to include physical feedback. Photos is the latest recipient, adding a nice touch whenever you're browsing through your picture history.
In recent updates to Google Photos, the timeline scrollbar now provides clicks for each month while sorting through an entire library (via Reddit). It's a positive experience, one that feels surprisingly good in action on my Pixel 4a 5G. It's not a slight enhancement either — it actually makes it easier and a little bit faster to find the exact month you're searching for on your timeline.
It's a small step in bringing the physical experience of using Android a little closer to its rival. Like it or not, the iPhone has had killer haptics for years now, and Google Photos on iOS even has the same clicking sensation when scrolling through the library. However, while this could just be my opinion, the harsher ticking effect on the Android version feels a little better than the more subtle approach used in its Apple counterpart.
This isn't the only effort working towards better physical feedback. Google is working to improve haptics with both Android 12 and the rumored Pixel 6, using audio effects to make the vibrations feel that much more accurate. It's not totally clear when Photos added haptics — or if it was just a standard server-side update — but it's live for us as of version 18.104.22.1684752107. You can grab it using the Play Store link below or download the latest APK from APK Mirror.