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Android 12 might include an answer to the iPhone's Back Tap feature

Can Google get double-taps on rear panels working in Android 12? (Source: Google)
Can Google get double-taps on rear panels working in Android 12? (Source: Google)
The betas for Android's next major update may not be too far away at this point. This version is the one now rumored to implement a feature in which a phone can respond to double-taps on its rear panel to open shortcuts. Android 12 is also said to add App Pairs, a new form of split-screen mode, as well as more effective third-party app-market access.

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iPhones have had the ability to respond to the new Back Tap shortcut type for the latest few updates to iOS. Google had been rumored to get an analog for the Android OS working (for Pixel phones at the least) in the current major version; however, that never really panned out, somehow. Now, however, it may be available as a finished item in Android 12.

The double-tap on the rear panel gesture was once slated to replace the Active Edge feature that was introduced in the Pixel series, but dropped in the 4a onwards. Now, there are rumors that it might be integrated into the Android 12 upgrade.

This major upgrade's first beta can only be about 6 months away at the most at this point. Some additional leaks point to the possibility of App Pairs, an updated form of splitting the screen that allows 2 apps to share a display while they work in tandem. For example, Chrome could pair with Google Maps in order to research a specific location.

App Pairs may thus mirror Samsung's relevant UI tweak that allows multiple apps to share a foldable device's screen more effectively. Therefore, its presence in Android 12 might be an effort to bring devices with these next-gen form-factors more into the mainstream.

Android 12 might also be the version in which Google allows greater access to sources of apps that are not the Play Store. It is not as though they exist, although adding them to a "typical" non-Apple mobile device is not quite as straightforward as being pre-installed by default, of course.

On the other hand, Google is also now said to be on the brink of enforcing a rule in which all in-app purchases on its own Store are paid for through its own billing system. This has been done for a number of reasons, the most prominent of which is probably the Mountain View giant's increased surety of getting its 30% cut of all revenue made on the Play Store.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4233 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Android 12 might include an answer to the iPhone's Back Tap feature
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-01-24 (Update: 2021-01-25)