While September’s iOS 14 release added tons of major features to the iPhone, from homescreen widgets to the ability to customise app icons, there’s one hidden feature that’s still blowing users’ minds months later. That shiny Apple logo on the back of your phone? Turns out it can now do a lot more than sit there looking pretty.
Tucked away in iOS 14’s Accessibility settings is a new feature called Back Tap, which allows users to access a host of functions by tapping the back of the phone twice or three times. There are three iPhone 12 models in our best camera phones list – and as well as raw tech, it’s often tiny iOS tweaks like this that make Apple’s smartphones so impressive.
An Instagram Reel (above) has recently gone viral, explaining how to access Back Tap on any model from the iPhone 8 and above. As the video demonstrates, tons of actions can be achieved with Back Tap, including taking a screenshot, turning the torch on, opening Control Centre and initiating any of your Siri Shortcuts.
Contrary to what the video suggests, you don’t actually have to tap the Apple logo – the feature uses the iPhone’s accelerometer, which can be activated by tapping anywhere on the back of the phone. But hey, the logo sits slap bang in the middle of the back of your phone – if you’re going to tap the back, you’re probably going to tap Apple’s apple.
Judging by the amount of ‘mind blown’ emojis below the video, the existence of Back Tap is still news to many users. “Very cool, thanks for the tip!” one user comments, while another adds, “Awesome! Way easier for taking a screenshot!”
Although users might be unlikely to stumble across it in Settings, Back Tap is easy to enable and customise. All you have to do is head to Settings, Accessibility, Touch, then Back Tap. There you’ll find a huge list of options for both double and triple tap.
Apple calls Back Tap “a simple and easy way to trigger convenient tasks for those with accessibility needs”, in its comprehensive iOS 14 features list (where it’s relegated to the ‘even more’ section). But Back Tap could offer a huge amount of convenience for all users. Creatives who need to take a quick screenshot, or use a shortcut to convert an image type for example, can now do so with a simple double or triple tap.
We can’t help but wonder why Apple didn’t choose to hype Back Tap as one of iOS 14’s headline features. Indeed, if Twitter is anything to go by, users are still only just discovering it, over four months after release.
Mind blown did anyone know that the back of your iPhone the Apple symbol is actually a button January 17, 2021
The fact that I can double tap the back of my iPhone and it takes a screenshot is futuristic technology. I’m living in the future.January 18, 2021
Am I the only iPhone user that didn’t know that the apple on the back of our phones is a tap buttonJanuary 17, 2021
How have I only just found out that I can amend my iPhone settings so that when I double tap the Apple icon on the back my phone takes a screenshot pic.twitter.com/RWYPd8AU7YJanuary 15, 2021
You certainly don’t need to wait for the iPhone 13 for a mind-blowing smartphone. With an incredible camera setup, sleek new design and all the software goodies of iOS 14 (including, yes, Back Tap), the iPhone 12 range is as about future-proof as it gets. Check out today’s best deals below, and be sure to take a look at our Apple New Year sales page for more brilliant offers.