If you own an iPhone and upgraded to the latest iOS 14, then congrats, it appears your phone just got a magical new button. No, Apple didn’t sneak into your house and secretly place a button onto your smartphone – though they probably know enough about your life to know when would be a good time to do so. Rather, they released a new feature called Back Tap as part of the new OS update (as first reported in The Verge). Back Tap adds a fascinating new “button” to your phone that showcases just how software can have a significant impact on the hardware of a device.
Back Tap is a feature that essentially turns the entire back of an iPhone into a giant touch-sensitive button that allows you to double or triple tap to trigger specific functions on your device. To enable this new feature, you need to enable the back-tap feature that has now appeared in the Accessibility Menu to configure its use on a specific device.
The different options available for users include opening the app switcher, notification menu, or control centre; scroll through an app or webpage; trigger Siri, or take a screenshot. You can also tie the feature into Apple’s Shortcuts app, essentially allowing you to perform many different functions and open up almost any app you choose through it.
It’s an interesting feature with a lot of use cases that certainly makes Apple’s iconic devices even easier to operate. It is also the perfect reminder of just how much software updates can affect the hardware of a device and why Apple is still one of the dominant forces in the smartphone market even if their hardware can be considered inferior to many other devices – as their software remains its biggest asset.
Last Updated: November 4, 2020