Last year, during the Android 11 developer preview phase, it appeared that Google was planning to add a double-tap gesture that would allow people to tap on the back of their phone to activate certain features. While the feature never made it to Android 11, it apparently didn’t go away either; It seems that the double tap could arrive as part of Android 12.
As reported by 9to5Google, the double-tap gesture could make its way to Android 12 Pixel phones with a few tweaks. When the feature appeared in Android 11 with the codename ‘Columbus’ (named after the Zombieland character and its ‘double tap’ rule), it would launch the Google Assistant, but it also had several alternate functions to activate instead.
Also, the version of Android 12 reported by 9to5Google You could activate Google Assistant, take a screenshot, pause / resume media playback, open the notification screen, or open the recent apps view.
Unlike Columbus’s earlier gesture in Android 11, Android 12’s double-tap feature would include the ability to adjust sensitivity to recognize only “firm” touches. Alternatively, users can disable the double tap feature.
Considering that the first Android 11 developer preview came in mid-February of last year, we could be just a few weeks away from the first Android 12 preview if it follows the same pattern. If so, we may soon see the new double-tap feature. Of course, it’s also possible that Google will pull the feature back, which wouldn’t be great.
Apple added an iPhone-like feature called ‘Back Tap’ in iOS 14. It’s a handy way to access various settings and capabilities, and it would be nice to see a similar shortcut on Android.
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