How to Launch Actions by Tapping on Back of iPhone in iOS 14

One of the new features that has arrived with iOS 14 that didn’t make a big splash but will be super useful for all users is something called Back Tap. The new iPhone feature lets you customize Double and Triple taps on the back of your iPhone to use for Shortcuts automations, Accessibility features, and iOS system actions.

iOS 14 Header

One of the new features that has arrived with iOS 14 that did not make a big splash but will be super useful for all users is something called Back Tap. The new iPhone feature lets you customize Double and Triple taps on the back of your iPhone to use for Shortcuts automations, Accessibility features, and iOS system actions.

Possibilities for iPhone Back Tap custom controls are pretty much only limited by your imagination since the feature works with Shortcuts app automations. But if you want to keep things simpler, you can assign a Double or Triple tap on the back of your iPhone to do things like open Control Center, take a screenshot, or enable Accessibility features like AssistiveTouch, VoiceOver, Zoom, etc.

How Does It Work

Back Tap uses the accelerometer in the iPhone 8 or higher to detect taps on the back side of your device running iOS 14. You assign the actions you want to launch upon tapping.

Back Tap works from the Home Screen, within apps (including third-party), and even from your your lock screen.

Let’s explore how to launch the built-in iOS 14 actions upon tapping.

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How to Tap the Back of Your iPhoneto Take a Screenshot in iOS 14

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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Setup Back Tap

First, open Settings (the gear icon). Refer to below image:

Tap 1
Accessing Settings

Now, scroll down and tap the Accessibility option. See below image:

Tap 2
Accessing Accessibility

Under Accessibility option, scroll down and tap the Touch option. See following image:

Tap 3
Accessing Touch

On the Touch Settings screen, scroll down until you see the Back Tap option, now tap it. Refer to below image:

Tap 4
Accessing Back Tap

Next, in Back Tap settings, you can set the an action to either Double Tap or Triple Tap on back of the iPhone. See below image:

Tap 5
Selecting your Back Tap option

Chose one of the list of available actions. At the bottom you will find the System actions. See following image for my example in selecting Screenshot for a Triple Tap.

Tap 6
Selecting your Back Tap action

Scroll to the bottom to see your shortcuts. If you don’t see any or you want to create one, follow along. Here is how you can build a Camera Shortcut, then attach it to the Back Tap iOS 14 accessibility gesture.

Create a Shortcut

Open Shortcuts on your iPhone by swiping past your first Home Screen, then enter Shortcuts in the Search Box and tap the app. Refer to below image:

Shortcut 1
Entering Shortcuts search

Tap the plus (+) button in the upper-right corner. See below image:

Shortcut 2
Selecting the Add icon

Tap Add Action. Refer to below image:

Shortcut 3
Selecting the Add Action option

Tap the Search Bar. Now ttype in Camera and tap the app. See below image:

Shortcut 4
Entering the Camera search

Tap your selection, Take Photo Or Take Video. See following image:

Shortcut 5
Selecting your Camera option

Tap Next in upper right-hand corner. Refer to below image:

Shortcut 6
Accessing the Next link

Enter a shortcut name, like Camera Shortcut and tap Done in upper right-hand corner. See below image:

Shortcut 7
Entering a Shortcut name

Your Shortcut(s) will be displayed. See following image;

Shortcut 8
Viewing your Shortcuts

Now exit Shortcuts. You’have now successfully created your Camera shortcut. Just follow the above steps and chose this as an action to be associated with Double or Triple Back Tap. Refer to below image for my example of assigning Camera Shortcut to Double Tap and Screenshot to Triple Tap:

Shortcut 9
Displaying your Back Tap actions

That’s it. In writing this blog post, I have found the Double Tap to be too sensitive; the associated action goes off accidentally.

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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