If everything is in order, we should see Android 12 arriving later this year, and the latest rumor surrounding the software version is that Google is bringing back a hidden shortcut that we first saw in the developer preview of Android 11 – at least on Pixel phones.
The shortcut we’re talking about is the double tap on the back, which – according to information seen through 9to5Google – can start the Google Assistant, take a screenshot, start and stop media, display your phone’s notifications or open the recent apps view, depending on how you want to use them.
We were a little disappointed that the double tap gesture was pulled from Android 11 after it appeared in early versions of the code, although it was never fully enabled. By the time Android 11 launched in September, the feature had completely disappeared.
It looks like Google has changed its mind again, although there is still no guarantee that the shortcut will make it to the final version of the OS or be available for phones not in the Pixel line. According to 9to5Google, the feature is code-named Columbus.
The new report says the double tap gesture was originally planned to carry over the old Active Edge squeeze gesture on the Pixel 4 phones – noticeably missing from the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 – but was found to be too sensitive. to work properly.
Now it seems that those issues have been overcome, where the gesture can only be triggered by a firm double tap on the back of a handset. As you’d expect from the mostly ultra-customizable Android, you can turn it off and ignore it if you don’t like the shortcut.
If Google follows the same schedule as last year, we may see a limited preview of Android 12 for developers as early as February. We’ve already heard that the software update could include Wi-Fi sharing as one of the new features.
A similar gesture was added to the iPhone with the release of iOS 14, which Apple calls Back Tap – the shortcut can be customized to take a screenshot, open Control Center, and more. For Android, there is a third-party software option called Knock Knock you can use until Android 12 is here.