Going by what is known of its trajectory of development, it is highly expected to get new iteration of Android system – Android 12 this year. There is also a possibility that Google will restore a hidden shortcut that was seen on developer versions of Android 11 but was missing on the final build.

Android 12

The shortcut in question is the double-tap on the back, which could open the Google Assistant, or play media, and several other tasks depending on how the action was accomplished.

However, for reasons only known to the developers, the double-tap gesture did not make the cut when the final version of Android 11 was released last year.

It now looks like this feature will be part of the new release of the software, although there has not been any definitive statement from Google. Some leaks have revealed that the feature, codenamed Columbus will be part of the final release of Android 11, which could be available for non-Pixel phones, at least.

A recent report has stated that the double-tap feature was originally billed to replace the Edge squeeze-action on Pixel 4 phones, which was missing from Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 models, and was discovered to be very sensitive to work properly. Obviously, there could have been some glitches that needed to be tweaked to make the feature work perfectly.

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It now seems all those challenges have been overcome and the double-tap can only be activated with a firm double-tap on the back of the phone. The feature can also be turned off, for those not interested.

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It is likely that we might see a developer preview of Android 12 in February or March. The grapevine also revealed that the update may include Wi-Fi sharing as one of the new features.

There is already a Back Tap feature in iOS 14, a shortcut that can be customized to take a screenshot, open Control Center, and a few other actions.

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