We first reported over a year ago that Google was working on a new gesture for Pixel phones that allowed a quick double-tap on the back of the phone to perform a custom action. Now, finally In the second beta of Android 12, Google has released the “Quick Tap” feature formerly known as “Columbus”, but it is only available on Pixel 5.
“Columbus” has been in the works for a while, but it seems that Android 12 will be the place it finally makes a proper debut, as we also reported earlier this year. With Android 12 Beta 2, the feature has been enabled on Google’s Pixel 5 ̵
When this feature is enabled, by default it takes a screenshot, but it can also:
- Trigger Google Assistant (or other voice assistants)
- Play / pause media
- Open the Recently Used Apps menu
- Pull down the warning shadow
- Open a custom app
While I am personally disappointed that this gesture cannot turn on the flashlight, there is still a lot that can be done with the actions offered. The action itself works very well on my device as well, as you can see below.
Being a beta, your results may vary. The feature works on my Pixel 5 system, but Dylan Roussel and a tipster both mentioned that it does not work for the assigned action when you are on the settings page or when the “Requires stronger cranes” switch is turned on. It’s pretty obvious that Google is not done with the feature either, given the cartoon that is on the settings page.
We’re still digging into what’s new in Android 12 Beta 2. If you notice anything, you can drop a comment below or ping us on Twitter.
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