The wait is finally over — iOS 14 is rolling out globally.
OK, the wait wasn’t that long; Apple launched the new version of iOS and iPadOS just a day after its Apple Watch/iPad event on Tuesday, but still, the latest version of the company’s mobile platform was originally announced during WWDC in June.
But while iOS 14 brings a ton of cool new features, such as picture-in-picture, widgets, and the ability to change your default browser, the feature that may be the most useful is hidden in the iPhone’s Accessibility settings. It’s called Back Tap (under the Touch menu), and it lets you double or triple tap the back of your iPhone to perform certain actions faster.
A logical thing you could do is set your iPhone to take a screenshot when you double or triple-tap the phone. Firing up Siri is also a solid option (and it feels like you’re actually waking her up, which is cool), as is opening the Control or Notification Center if you prefer tapping to sliding your finger across the screen. Frankly, nearly all of them are great.
To enable the feature, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap.
Besides those basic system options, you can also set Back Tap to work with a number of Accessibility options, such as Magnifier, VoiceOver, or Zoom, or you can set it to scroll down or up. Finally, you can set the feature to trigger Shortcuts, giving you essentially endless possibilities of what you can do with it.
There’s one caveat to this: Back Tap only works on iPhone 8 or newer. Also, the option isn’t available on the iPad, even if you have iPadOS 14 installed.
And while we’re in the Accessibility menu, here’s another hidden feature that’s new to iOS 14: Sound Recognition. Fire it up, and you’ll be able to set your iPhone to listen to certain sounds, such as fire alarm siren blaring, cat meowing, baby crying, or water running, and notify you when it “hears” these sounds. Neat!