Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 14, has been available since fall 2020. As always, the update has brought numerous new features. But with the so-called Back Tap, there is a function that even long-time iPhone users do not know yet.

Every iOS update brings its own peculiarities. Sometimes there are more features, sometimes less. iOS 14 is certainly one of the bigger updates of the last few years. After all, iPhone users are now able to individualize their own home screen for the first time.

This means that you can, for example, freely arrange logos in different sizes on your screen or build your own Corona incidence widget for your city.

The new “button” through iOS 14

However, despite all the coverage and all the visible changes and options, there is also one feature that even long-time users are not familiar with: the Back Tap. The unfamiliarity is almost certainly due to the fact that you don’t just stumble across the feature.

Specifically, the Back Tap is a practical function extension. When you activate the feature, the Apple logo on the back of your iPhone effectively turns into a button. Yes, you read that right.

These are the features the Back Tap brings to the table

The Back Tap allows you to assign different functions to your Apple logo. You can assign one function with a double tap and one with a triple tap.

You have these options:

  • App switcher
  • Lock screen
  • Screenshot
  • One-hand mode
  • Home
  • Control Center
  • Louder
  • Quieter
  • Message center
  • Shake
  • Siri
  • Spotlight
  • Sound off

You can also put a number of accessibility features behind your Apple logo:

  • Assistive Touch
  • Talk screen
  • Magnifier
  • Voice control
  • Reverse (Intelligent and Classic)
  • Voice Over
  • Zoom

In addition, you can even scroll up or down via the Apple logo or store a self-programmed shortcut. So, in theory, you can double-click on your iPhone logo to conveniently open WhatsApp.

How to activate the Back Tap

Should you have already tried to trigger a reaction by tapping on your Apple logo while reading this, you will have noticed that doesn’t happen. This is because the feature is not enabled by default.

However, if you want to use the Back Tap, here’s how to do it.

  1. Open the settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Select “Tap”.
  4. Click “Tap on back”.

Now you can set one function each – two in total. One action is triggered by a double tap, the other by a triple tap.

How does the Back Tap work technologically?

The most important difference compared to the touchscreen is that the Apple logo is not equipped with touch-sensitive functions. That’s why the Back Tap isn’t triggered when you hold your smartphone normally in your hand.

Instead, the iPhone’s built-in technology is used. The gyroscope and accelerometer are very sensitive. They register all movements and touches of the device.

From a purely technical point of view, your iPhone registers that your device moves forward several times for a millimeter due to a quick and targeted tap on the center back.

Your operating system then triggers the stored function based on this movement. This logic is also the reason why you can use the Back Tap despite the case. However, the built-in technology is not yet completely accurate.

So, if you find an unintentional screenshot in your gallery after jogging, it might be because the jolts unintentionally triggered the Back Tap.