Going by Google's timeline, the company will launch its next version of Android, Android 12 (unconfirmed name) this year. Last week, it was reported that Google will revamp its split screen feature with the new Android version. Now, it is being said that Google will bring back a hidden feature with the next Android version that we first saw in the developer preview of Android 11. The feature that is being talked about here is the double-tap on the back panel, which could be used as a shortcut for things like Google Assistant, take a screenshot, start and stop media, and so on.
According to a report in 9to5Google, the Mountain View, California-based company is working to revive the feature, which was codenamed 'Columbus' by Google. At the time it was spotted in the developer preview, 'Columbus' was said to replace the Active Edge squeeze gesture feature in the Google Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and the Google Pixel 5. However, when Android 11 was fully released for Pixel smartphones, the feature was nowhere to be found. According to 9to5Google, Google is working to revive the double tap feature on Google Pixel smartphones with Android 12.
The report said that unlike the Android 11 Developer Preview feature, which was deemed too sensitive, the Android 12 feature has been programmed to only recognise 'firm taps' on the back. Like other gesture features on Android, the double tap feature could also be disabled altogether, the 9to5Google report further said.
A similar feature was released with Apple's iOS 14 last year, which Apple calls Back Tap. The shortcut on Apple's iPhones can be used to take a screenshot, open the Control Center and more.