Useful feature Google pulled from Android 11 rumored to be included in Android 12

Useful feature Google pulled from Android 11 rumored to be included in Android 12
UPDATE: The first Android 12 beta is official. Read all we know so far about the Android 12 release date and new features.

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You might recall that last March we told you about a feature that Google was supposedly planning to include for Pixel phones with Android 11. The feature was given the code name of  "Columbus" and allowed users to double-tap the back of their Pixel handset to activate certain features; this action would be set by default to activate Google Assistant but could be customized to dismiss the timer, launch the camera, play/pause media, collapse status bar, silence incoming phone calls, snooze alarms, unpin notifications, launch the camera, dismiss an alarm, take a screenshot and more.

When Android 11 was released, "Columbus" was not found on the new Android build. However, information viewed by 9to5Google suggests that the "Double tap" gesture will end up on Android 12. This would replace the Active Edge squeeze feature that is not found on the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5. The double tap would allow Pixel users to do the following:

  • Activate the Google Assistant
  • Take a screenshot
  • Pause/resume media playback
  • Open the notification shade
  • Open the recent apps view
The version of "Double tap" coming to Android 12 will apparently allow users to require a firm tap to register the input to prevent an accidental triggering of a feature. "Double tap" could also be completely disabled if so desired by the user.



While Google decided not to include this feature with Android 11, Apple did include a similar feature with iOS 14. From the Accessibility menu found in Settings, those running an iPhone with iOS 14 or later can toggle on "Back Tap". This allows you to select one of several actions you can have activated with a double tap to the rear of the phone, and one other action that will take place with a triple tap. For example, a double tap on this writer's iPhone 11 Pro Max will result in a screenshot being taken; a triple tap opens the Google Assistant app.

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