How to Give Your iPhone Two Extra ‘Buttons’ Using Back Tap

iPhone 11 Back Tap Feature copy Credit: goffkeinpro / Shutterstock
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Apple recently unveiled a bunch of new features in iOS 14. But, surprisingly, one of the cooler, more functional features didn’t get as much attention as it should have.

While everyone was thrilled to finally be able to use widgets on their Home screen or choose their own default browser, most of us overlooked the new Back Tap feature.

What’s Back Tap?

Back Tap is a new accessibility feature that basically lets you add two “buttons” to the back of your iPhone. By quickly giving your iPhone a double or a triple tap on the back, you can trigger different actions.

You can take screenshots, trigger VoiceOver, or even launch Google Assistant if you want to be that guy. There are many actions you can choose from, and setting up Back Tap is not that complicated. Here’s how you can do it.

How to Use Back Tap on Your iPhone

First, make sure you have iOS 14 installed on your iPhone, and that you’re using an iPhone that supports Back Tap, more on that below. Now, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Touch.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and select Back Tap.
  5. Select Double Tap or Triple Tap.
  6. You’ll have a list of all the accessibility actions you can assign to your double or triple back tap. Choose the ones you want.

You Can Also Use Shortcuts

Despite all the options included by Apple, there are some actions that are missing, like turning on the flashlight or opening the camera app.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait for Apple to add these actions on iOS 15. Instead, you can make your own Shortcuts and add them to your double or triple Back Tap.

Making your own Shortcuts is not that difficult and it’ll only take a few minutes to do it. Here’s an example of how you can make a Shortcut to open your camera.

  1. Go to the Shortcuts app.
  2. Tap on the “My Shortcuts” tab.
  3. Tap on the plus icon on the top-right corner, or select Create Shortcut.
  4. Tap on Add Action.
  5. Select the action you want the Shortcut to make. Since we’re trying to open up the Camera app, we’ll use the search bar and search “Open App.”
  6. Tap on the action Open App.
  7. Tap on the word Choose.
  8. Select the Camera app.
  9. Tap on Next.
  10. Give your Shortcut a name.
  11. Now go back to the Back Tap option on Settings and select your new Shortcut.

Not Every iPhone Can Use Back Tap

Unfortunately, not every iPhone that supports iOS 14 can make use of the Back Tap feature. Only the iPhones that have the Tap to Wake feature available can use Back Tap.

So, how can you tell if your iPhone has Tap to Wake and can use Back Tap? Well, the short answer is that, if your iPhone has a physical Home button, you can’t use Back Tap.

Only the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max can use the Back Tap feature. Any other iPhone won’t have it available. Sadly, this includes the second-generation iPhone SE, which came out earlier this year.

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