Thu. Aug 6th, 2020

Google adds double tap gestures in Android 11 to trigger specific actions without new hardware

2 min read

After Google launched the Android 11 Developer Preview, many developers are currently exploring new features in this Developer Preview.

The most recently discovered new feature is Google’s new back tap gesture. With this feature, users can double-tap the back of the phone to trigger a set action.

Interestingly, this feature does not require additional hardware to be installed on the back of the smartphone, because Google relies on gyroscopes and accelerometers to detect user tapping.

The XDA Developer Forum found that when setting gesture operations in the Android 11 Preview, a new interface will pop up to guide users to configure back tap gestures.

By default, tapping on the back of the phone will immediately launch Google Assistant. Of course, users can also set the actions that are triggered when tapping, etc. according to their actual needs.

Android 10

Actions that currently support triggering include: turning off the timer, starting the camera, starting Google Assistant, pausing playback, muting incoming calls, pausing alarms, and canceling notifications.

For example, when a call comes in, the user can tap the back twice quickly to automatically mute the call, or tap the back twice to pause or resume playback when playing music.

At the same time, after discovering the relevant code, developers found that the function only relies on the gyroscope and accelerometer, so there is no need to install additional hardware reading gestures on the back of the phone.

The above functions are available on Google Pixel series devices, such as Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 3. Of course, Google Pixel 4 and the upcoming 4A and 5 series will definitely support it.

Optimistically, Google may open this feature as a basic feature of Android. Pessimistically, this feature may be an exclusive feature developed by Google for its own devices.