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Android 12 Beta 2 adds ‘Quick Tap’ to Pixel 5

We first reported over a year ago that Google was working on a new gesture for Pixel phones that allowed a quick double-click on the back of the phone to perform a customizable action. Now, finally in the second beta release 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 on the road for a while, but it looks like Android 12 will be the place it finally debuts properly, as we also reported earlier this year. With Android 12 Beta 2, the feature has been enabled on Google’s Pixel 5 ̵

1; and some Pixel 4a 5G devices – without any trickery required. Just dive in Settings> System> Gestures and look for “Quick Press”, the new name for this feature.

When this feature is enabled, it takes a screenshot by default, but it can also:

  • Trigger Google Assistant (or other voice assistants)
  • Play / pause media
  • Open the Recent Apps menu
  • Pull down the message screen
  • Open a custom app

While I am personally disappointed that this gesture cannot turn on the flashlight, there is still much that can be done with the actions delivered. The action itself works really well on my device, as you can see below.

Being a beta, however, your results may vary. The feature works on my Pixel 5 full system, but Dylan Roussel and a tipster both mentioned that it does not work for the assigned action when it is on the settings page or when “Require stronger faucets” is turned on. It’s pretty obvious that Google is not done with the feature either, given the cartoon that is on its settings page.

We’re still researching what’s new in Android 12 Beta 2. If you spot anything, please leave a comment below or ping us on Twitter.

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