A new feature is coming to both iPhone and Android handsets this fall through each platform's next OS builds, iOS 14 and Android 11 respectively. Found in the Accessibility menu on an iPhone running iOS 14, a user can customize a double or triple tap on the back of his or her handset in order to activate certain features. For example, once iOS 14 is installed, a user can arrange for a double-tap on the back of the unit to snap a screenshot, awaken Siri, mute the phone, raise or lower the volume, and more. A triple-tap can activate another feature.
actually came up with the idea first; we told you about it in March after XDA was able to get the so-called "Columbus" feature working
on a Pixel 2 XL
running on the Android 11 developer preview; the double tapping on Android 11 will work even when the phone is wearing a case. With the feature, Android users will be able to tap twice on the back and open Google Assistant
, launch the cameras, dismiss a timer, play/pause media, take a screenshot, open the recents menu, minimize the status bar, snooze alarms, dismiss incoming calls, unpin notifications, and perform an action selected by the user. Only one action
can be selected at a time.
According to XDA
, because the "Columbus" feature is designed for Pixel 3
models and newer, a third-party app developer successfully ported the feature over to create a new app called Tap, Tap that will work on many other non-Pixel
Android handsets. The app can open recent apps, press the back button, access the home page and more with a double tap of the rear panel.
Tap, Tap will allow users to double tap on the back of certain Android phones to open up certain apps and features
Once the app is installed, accessibility services must be enabled. The Actions setting will describe what happens when the double-tap is made including the launch of a specific app, the opening of Google Assistant or the camera app, and more. Users can also simulate the pressing of the Home button, the back button, and the notification shade. Gates are situations that block a gesture from executing an action. For example, you can set Tap, Tap to block an action when the camera app is open. The alpha version of the app is being tested and hopefully it eventually will find its way to the Google Play Store.
Xiaomi is believed to be working on a similar tap gestures for its MIUI 12 UI. Like the iOS version, Xiaomi users will be able to assign different tasks for a double and a triple tap of the rear panel.
Gates are situations that block a gesture from executing an action