How to customize and use quick tap gestures on Android

How to customize and use quick tap gestures on Android

Google released useful quick-tap gestures with Android 12 in 2021. With a simple double-tap gesture on the back of the phone, you can take a quick screenshot, pause/play media, and perform multiple actions without interacting with the phone. How to Customize and Use Quick Tab Gestures on Android

Back tap gestures are part of the accessibility feature on iPhone. With Android 12, Google has added the same to all Android phones. The company takes the functionality further with the flashlight option in Android 13. The next time you want to find your seats in a dark movie theater, double-tap the back and activate the flashlight. Let’s set it up and make the necessary changes.

Enable Quick Tap Gesture on Android

Provided you have updated to Android 13 on your Android phone, you can enable this option. Follow the steps below to enable quick tap gestures on your Android phone.

Step 1: Swipe up from your Android phone’s home screen to open the app drawer.

Step 2: Open Settings with a familiar gear icon.

Step 3: Scroll to System.

Step 4: Select Gestures.

Step 5: Select “Quick tap to initiate actions.”

Step 6: Enable the “Use Quick Press” toggle from the following menu.

Short press actions on Android

You can perform one action at a time on the back of an Android phone. Here are all available options for quick tap movements.

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Step 1: Go to the Gestures menu in Android Settings (see steps above).

Step 2: Tap “Quick tap to start actions.”

Here are the following options you can use with a quick tap.

  • Take screenshot
  • Enable Google Assistant
  • Play or pause media
  • See the recent apps menu
  • Show notifications
  • Turn on the flashlight

You can set the flashlight to enable or disable it without unlocking the phone. Taking screenshots with a double tap on the back of the phone is also a neat addition. If you stream a lot of music and video from your Android phone to a smart speaker or TV, you can use the quick tap gesture to play or pause the media. Few will find the recent apps and show notification options useful with back tap gestures.

Open a specific app with quick tap gesture

Android also lets you launch frequently used apps with quick tap gestures. If you use apps like Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat during the day, make some adjustments to open your favorite apps with a quick tap on the back.

Step 1: Navigate to the Gestures menu in Android Settings (check the steps above).

Step 2: Select “Quick tap to initiate actions.”

Step 3: Scroll down and tap the radio button next to “Open App”.

Step 4: Select the setting gear.

Step 5: Choose your favorite app from the following menu.

You can even assign the back tap gesture to open a specific task in the app.

Step 6: Tap the settings gear next to an app to check available actions.

Step 7: Choose what happens when you open this app using Quick Tap.

For example, when you select Google Calendar, you can choose between new reminders, new events, and new task actions. Similarly, you can open a new tab or an incognito mode in Google Chrome via a quick tap gesture.

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For supported apps, you’ll notice a settings gear next to the app name. When you uninstall the selected app from your Android phone, Quick Tap turns off until you choose another app or action.

Activate Stronger Taps

Does your Android phone often trigger back tap gestures and actions in your pocket or purses? You should enable stronger presses to avoid accidental presses on the phone.

Step 1: Go to the Gestures menu in Settings (check the steps above).

Step 2: Select “Quick tap to initiate actions.”

Step 3: Enable the “Require stronger pressure” switch.

Our experience with quick tap gestures on Android

While using Android 13 on the Pixel 6, we noticed that Quick Tap gestures are quite accurate. There were some bumps due to a thick rugged case. But removing the case solved the problem. Your phone also vibrates to trigger the action due to the back pressure. In future updates, we’d love to see triple-tap gestures to unlock more action via back-tap gestures on your Android phone.

Navigate your Android phone with quick tap gestures

While there are some unofficial third-party apps like Tap, Tap to perform such gestures, nothing comes close to Google’s implementations on Android. How do you plan to use Quick Tab gestures on Android? Share your workflow in the comments below.

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