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Pixel devices with Android 12 will get 'Quick Tap' to replace squeezy sides

The feature is live now on some Pixels with Android 12 beta, but your mileage may vary.

Published onJune 9, 2021

Android 12 Quick Tap
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • The latest Android 12 beta 2 has an active new feature called “Quick Tap.”
  • The feature allows you to perform custom actions by double-tapping the back of your phone.
  • Codenamed “Columbus,” this feature has been anticipated ever since Google abandoned the squeeze feature in Pixels.

Ever since the first Android 12 developer preview rolled out, we’ve seen hints of a hidden feature codenamed “Columbus.” Through some hacking, you could get Columbus to work, but it wasn’t accessible for just anyone.

With today’s rollout of Android 12 beta 2, that all changes. Now we know that “Columbus” is really named “Quick Tap.” The Pixel-exclusive feature allows you to perform various actions by double-tapping the back of your phone.

Related: Android 12 features: Everything you need to know

Since this feature is easy to access and seems fully fleshed, it’s pretty much guaranteed it will make its way to the stable launch of Android 12. This is likely good news for Pixel fans who may have been bummed that Google abandoned the seemingly popular “squeezy sides” on the Pixel 5. That feature — officially named Active Edge — works in a very similar way to this new one.

Quick Tap: How to activate and use

To get Quick Tap working on your Pixel with the latest build of Android 12, head to Settings and perform a search. Conversely, you can navigate to Settings > System > Gestures.

Once there, you can toggle the feature on or off (it is off by default). If you turn it on, you’ll have a bunch of options for what you want the double-tap gesture to do. They include:

  • Taking a screenshot
  • Activating Google Assistant
  • Playing or pausing media
  • Opening recent apps menu
  • Showing notifications dropdown
  • Opening a specific app

There’s also an option at the very end to require stronger taps to activate the feature. This might be useful if you find you’re accidentally activating Quick Tap periodically.

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