Google testing new rear double-tap gesture in Android 11

Michail, 21 February 2020

With the first Android 11 developer preview out, more and more upcoming features are beginning to surface. The latest one is a new double-tap gesture that is performed on the back of the device and triggers the Google Assistant by default but can also be changed to open the camera app. The new feature is codenamed Columbus and is seemingly going to be exclusive to Google’s Pixel line initially.

The way it works is still a mystery but it appears to be picking up the knock on the back via the accelerometer or gyroscope sensors so it doesn’t require special hardware to function. It also seems to be able to pick up double-taps even through a case.

According to developers who've tried the preview, the feature appears to be working even when the screen is turned off. In addition, reports are saying that the sensitivity appears to be quite high, leading to accidental triggers.

If you want to check out some other cool features from the developer build of Android 11 feel free to check out our recap.

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Reader comments

I don't really think there is any living person on the planet who is even aware of Android before Google took over. So... yeah, your point is a bit misguided there.

More Spy sh*t!

This looks like it can be a disaster but I used to have a cheap ZTE that took a screenshot when you double tapped the rear fingerprint sensor. Good times...

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