Back Tap is a new feature that arrived with iOS 14 that didn’t make a big splash but will be extremely useful for all users. The new iPhone feature allows you to personalize double and triple taps on the back of your iPhone for Shortcuts automation, Accessibility features, and iOS system actions. Continue reading to learn how to use iPhone Back Tap custom controls and what else you can do with the new feature.
Because the feature works with Shortcuts app automation, the possibilities for iPhone Back Tap custom controls are pretty much limited only by your imagination. However, if you want to keep things simple, you can assign a double or triple tap on the back of your iPhone to perform actions such as opening Control Center, taking a screenshot, or enabling Accessibility features such as AssistiveTouch, VoiceOver, Zoom, and so on.
Back Taps work from the home screen, within apps (including third-party), and even from the lock screen of your iPhone.
List of iPhones that support the Back Tap feature
- iPhone 8, 8 Plus
- iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro,11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE 2020
- iPhone 12 Mini, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
Setting Up iPhone Back Tap custom controls
- On your iPhone, navigate to Settings > Accessibility
- Tap Touch
- Swipe to the bottom and choose Back Tap
- You have two choices here: Double Tap and Triple Tap to pick an action
A copious list of options awaits you on the next screen. The first section includes useful system action, including App Switcher, Control Center, Home, Lock Screen, Mute, Notification Center, Screenshot, and Siri. Accessibility options include VoiceOver, Assistive Touch, Classic and Smart Invert (which display inverted colors), and Speak Screen.
- Remember that you can use a Double or Triple Back Tap to start automation with Shortcuts
If you use an iPhone Back Tap to bring up Control Center, Notification Center, or another app that takes over your screen, repeating the tap gesture will return you to where you were previously.
Here’s how the process looks:
You can set up either a double or triple Back Tap or both. System actions are at the top of the screen; swipe down to select an Accessibility action or use a Shortcuts app automation.
How to use Back Tap on iPhone
After you’ve enabled this feature, hold the device normally and tap anywhere on the back of the iPhone. I played around with tapping different parts of the iPhone’s back. It was effective everywhere. Back Tap will still work if you tap on the camera glass or flash!
Back Tap once more to exit the performed action. For instance, if you double-tap to open App Switcher, double-tap again to exit it.
Back Tap work if I have a case on my iPhone?
I was curious to see if the trick would work with my thick iPhone case on, but it didn’t, probably because I have a metal car plate on my dashboard for a magnetic holder. A typical case would most likely present no difficulty. When I removed the case, the feature worked as expected, and it didn’t require a particularly hard tap.
Back Tap works on the lock screen or not?
Yes, the answer is yes. Back Tap works when your iPhone is both unlocked and locked. However, I couldn’t take a screenshot (using Back Tap) when my iPhone was locked for some reason. However, I was able to call Siri from the lock screen (via Back Tap). It could be a bug that will be fixed in the future.
This is an awesome accessibility feature that can be set to perform Shortcut actions and has an infinite number of customization options. Using the Shortcuts app, you can establish shortcuts and launch them with a double or triple tap. What are your thoughts on this? Please leave it in the comments section below.