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Android 11 New Features: double-click on the back of the smartphone

When Google released Android 11 Developer Preview 1 last month, a new gesture feature called “Columbus” has been exposed, which allows double-clicking the back of the device to launch the voice assistant, open the camera application, and more. Now, with the release of Android 11 Developer Preview 2, there are signs that the feature has been tested in Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. In addition, Google added two new operations to the “Columbus” gesture: taking a screenshot and entering the multitasking interface.

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The new gesture feature does not require any special hardware to work, using sensor data from the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope to determine if the user double-clicked on the back of the device. These double-tap gestures have a “door” to prevent them from starting in certain situations (for example, when the screen is off).

The new double-back gesture operation supports the following features:

  • Off timer
  • Launch camera
  • Launch Google Assistant
  • Play/pause media
  • Collapse status bar
  • Mute incoming call
  • Pause alarm
  • Unpin notification
  • Perform “user-selected action”
  • Screenshot
  • Enter the multitasking interface

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