Android 12 would reintroduce the double tap available in Preview on Android 11




 Last March, before the release of the latest smartphones in the Pixel range, Google was working on a feature known by the code name Columbus. The latter was ultimately not implemented. However, it could see the light of day in Android 12.

The Columbus system proposes to activate a double tap (or double tap) mechanism, which relies on the smartphone's gyroscope and accelerometer. The device made its appearance in the Developer Preview 1 version of Android 11. It was then enriched in the RFP 2.



Columbus: accessibility by double tap

When developing Columbus, Google had designed a series of configurable actions via a double tap on the back of the smartphone. By default, Google would have expected this gesture to activate the voice assistant.

On the other hand, the user was able to associate this double tap to open the camera, control media playback, open the notifications bar, silence an incoming call or take a screenshot.

However, the mechanism had been deemed too sensitive to be deployed in final production. The configured action was often performed by accident. On its latest Android smartphones, like the Pixel 5, Google has introduced an option to swipe up and down on the fingerprint sensor to open the notifications panel.



 The double tap is back

While Google has finally decided not to integrate Columbus into the Pixels on Android 11, Apple has for its part introduced a similar device directly in the accessibility options of iOS 14. It is then possible to configure a related action no only to a double tap, but also to three successive taps.

According to 9to5Google, Columbus is planned for the next version of Android in version 12. In addition to the actions previously mentioned, the mechanism would also enable multitasking.

To avoid nuisance tripping, in this next version, Columbus would recognize only the firm presses on the back of the smartphone. Of course, it will also be possible to deactivate the mechanism.

The first Developer Preview version of Android 11 was released in February 2020. It is therefore possible that a first version for Android 12 will emerge next month.

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