The Developer Preview of Android 11 keeps unveiling brand new functionalities that Google has stored for its mobile OS. These features include a new gesture that allows users to double-tap the back of their Pixel smartphone in order to open apps and actions.
The feature is not completely enabled as of yet but has been noticed in the Android 11 code by XDA Developers. Similar to any other feature in the Developer Preview; it may get adjusted or even entirely removed before the software is ready and officially launched.
Allegedly, ‘Columbus’ is the codename for the new gesture, and it works with a double-tap on the back of a compatible Pixel mobile device. When activated, it launches Google Assistant or the handset’s camera, or pause any audio that is playing.
Some other hints found in the code seem to imply that it is a Google Pixel exclusive, although it may be available to other upcoming smartphones.
Pixel Phones Have Supported Similar Systems
The new system doesn’t ask for particular hardware, but it utilizes the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors that every smartphone has to function when users are double-tapping the rear side of the handset.
According to XDA Developers, the gesture is also able to dismiss timers, snooze alarms, clear notifications, or initiate an action requested by the user. It seems like users will be able to optimize this system to do almost anything they want it to do.
Google has built a form of this gesture for its Pixel devices, which has somehow remained exclusive. Every Pixel device since the Pixel 2 had support for Active Edge implemented, which required squeezing the sides of the device to trigger an action, and the most recent Pixel 4 smartphones have support for Motion Sense. This works by waving above the device to skip media tracks, silence alarms, and so on.
There is definitely more to come from Android 11 in the following months as Google is planning another two Developer Preview launches and three Beta releases.