The iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel XL come with Taptic engine and haptic feedback capability respectively. Apple made a big deal about its Taptic engine, and for those who are not aware, it's been available on MacBooks for quite some time now.
It's a loved feature, so we're happy to see it show up in a smartphone. Apple can say the taptic engine is unique to the iPhone 7 Plus, but Google has done it with the Pixel XL as well, but the implementation is different since Google uses haptic feedback instead.
The idea is the same, the use overall will be the same, but both companies went a different path in terms of design. We know this because of a video that shows both technologies working, and well, the differences are clear.
By looking at the video, the Taptic engine tech inside the iPhone 7 Plus appears to be larger than the vibration motor inside the Pixel XL. Furthermore, the Pixel XL version appears to vibrate more heavily than its iPhone 7 Plus counterpart.
The haptic feedback tech inside the Google device looks very much like a regular vibrating motor, but smaller. However, the one inside the Apple device comes off as more of a heavily customized kit and it is larger. This could be the reason why Apple decided to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack - to have the Taptic engine fit perfectly.
Now, from what we've come to understand via GSM Arena, Apple's idea is to have the Taptic engine tech simulate a "click," while Google decided to go the tried-and-tested route of having the Pixel XL vibrate to get user attention. Nothing fancy, it's all about getting the job done.
For those who are not aware, the Taptic engine makes it possible for Force Touch to work as well as it does. Google has a similar feature in place, but arguably, the iPhone 7 Plus addition is better, but that's for another day.
Haptic feedback has been in use for a very long time. It's mainly used in video game controllers. Whenever a gun is fired and the controller vibrates, giving feedback to the player, that's haptic feedback in a nutshell.
A company currently running a campaign on Kickstarter is hoping to change the way we play, with a new haptic feedback device known as the OmniWear Arc. It's a neckband that vibrates to help players tell where the enemy is coming from.