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IPhone: iOS 14 lets you tap the back of your iPhone — yes, the back — to perform commands


By Stan Schroeder

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Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 has been widely dissected by now, but there’s still a couple of hidden features that Apple didn’t mention in its WWDC keynote. 

One of the coolest we’ve seen is a new Back Tap feature, allowing you to perform system commands or launch custom shortcuts by tapping the back of your iPhone. 

Discovered by Federico Viticci (via Engadget), the Back Tap is actually an Accessibility feature, but I see no reason why it couldn’t be widely used (on a side note, Tap to Wake, one of my favorite iOS features, is also an Accessibility feature). Per Apple’s description of the Back Tap feature in iOS 14: “Double or Triple tap on the back of your iPhone to perform actions quickly.” 

iOS 14 has a new Back Tap feature in Accessibility and it’s wild. You can perform quick actions by double- or triple-tapping the *back of your iPhone*. Literally quick taps on the back; works with a case on.

These include system actions as well as custom shortcuts. pic.twitter.com/87uJU9qAtu

— Federico Viticci (@viticci) June 23, 2020

Viticci’s example has App Switcher set as the action for the double tap, and Spotlight as the action for the Triple Tap, but it’s not hard to imagine other uses — one commenter on Twitter suggested that this is an ideal way for launching that “I’m being pulled over by police” shortcut. 

This is where you hook up the “I’m being pulled over by police” shortcut.

— Jay Lyerly (@jaylyerly) June 23, 2020

Even better, Viticci claims the feature works even when your iPhone is in a case. 

SEE ALSO: Apple will let you change the default email and web browser app in iOS 14

The iOS 14 is only available as developer beta at this point, and this feature could be changed or completely removed before the final version is out. As it is, though, I bet it’ll be one of many users’ favorite new features (along with the ability to change your default email app and browser). 

Viticci noticed a couple more interesting features in iOS 14. For example, Sound Recognition (also located in Accessibility) lets your phone listen for specific sounds, like water running, baby crying, shouting, or a doorbell, and notify you. He also found out some neat Watch automation possibilities, including the ability to change a Watch face automatically, on schedule. 

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