Launch useful iPhone apps faster, by simply double or triple tapping

Launch apps on your iPhone like your camera by double or triple tapping the back of your phone.
10 February 2022

Did you know, because I certainly didn't, that you can open apps on your phone through a double or triple tap.

It’s a really handy feature that I’ve set up to quickly open my camera, without having to click anything.

What is back tap, what can it do?

Available on iPhone 8 or newer devices, back tap gives you the ability to assign an app or shortcut to run when you double or triple tap the back of your phone.

One of the most useful reasons to enable back tap is to quickly launch the camera, which can potentially save you a second or two, enough when you need to quickly capture a photo.

You can also assign a shortcut to a tap, which gives you nearly unlimited customisation on what you can do.

How to set up and use the back tap feature

Back Tap is easy to set up, simply follow the below steps.

  1. Open up “Settings” → Scroll down to and open “Accessibility” → Then scroll and open “Touch”
  2. Finally scroll down to “Back Tap”, from there you can change what double and triple tapping the back of your phone does.

While not every app can be selected, it does give you the main system items (camera, siri, spotlight) that are most important.

You can set the double / triple tap to trigger a Shortcut, which you can use to open anything you’d like or launch a set of actions. 

I’ll do a more deep-dive into iPhone / iPad Shortcuts in the future (comment on this post / message me if this is something you’d like to see sooner)

Downsides of back tap feature

There’s three downsides that I’ve found while using double/triple tap, and they are;

  1. Won’t work if the screen is off (though screen doesn’t need to be unlocked if you’ve assigned the camera app)
  2. Doesn’t always register you double / triple tapping the back of your phone
  3. Sometimes activates by accidently tapping, pulling you out of whatever you were doing

While I wish the double / triple tap worked while the phone screen was off, I understand this may be a good thing - as to not accidentally turn on your phone from random taps / bumps.

Overall thoughts on back tap

This feature, unlike Live Text, is available on older devices (iPhone 8 or newer). It’s a handy feature that is great when it works, but annoying when it doesn’t.

It’s easy enough to set up and works as long as your phone screen is on.

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