Here’s how to take action by tapping the back of your Android phone

Gestures and shortcuts give you quick access to things without jumping through apps and menus. What if you could just tap the back of your phone to take an action? We are going to show you how to do it on your Android phone.

There are a couple of things that you will need to get started. First of all, you need a device with Android 7.0 or higher. Next we need to sideload an app called “Tap, Tap”. The process is very simple.

How to start Actions by tapping the back of your iPhone

Open a web browser on your Android device and go to this XDA forum thread. Download the APK file for the latest version of the app. At the time of writing, the app is still in beta, so the appearance of these screenshots may change slightly.

The file will be downloaded and will appear in your notifications. Tap the notification to install the APK.

tap the notification

You may need to give your browser permission to install apps from unknown sources. In this case, a popup will take you to the app settings.

Settings for unknown sources


Switch the switch to “Allow from this source”. You don’t have to do this the next time you install an APK from the browser.

Allow switching from this source

Next, go back and tap “Install” on the pop-up message.

tap Install

When the app finishes installing, tap Open to launch it.

open the Tap Tap app

The first thing we have to do with Tap, Tap is activate the Accessibility Service. This setting allows the app to recognize taps on the back of your device and perform the various actions. Tap the message at the top of the app.

Tap the Accessibility Service banner

You will be directed to the Android accessibility settings. Tap Search, tap the list.

choose tap, tap

Turn the switch to “Use Tap, Tap”. A message explains that this will give the app full control of your device. If you agree, tap “Allow”.

allow full control


You will be brought back to the Tap, Tap app. Next, we need to turn off battery optimizations to make sure the app doesn’t quit in the background.

Deactivate battery optimization banner

A message will ask you to always let the app run in the background. Tap “Allow” to continue.

run in the background

The app is now ready! There are a lot of things you can do with Tap, Tap, so let’s take a look at the options.

First you can select your “device model” in the “Gesture” settings and adjust the sensitivity of the gesture. At the time of writing, the “device models” are few and far between Pixel phones, but the app works with many other devices.

Gesture settings

There are two gestures you can set up: double-tap actions and triple-tap actions. The double-tap gesture is always on, but triple-tap can be toggled on or off.

Double tap and triple tap

If we open the settings for “Double Tap Actions”, we can see some actions already performed. The actions run in sequence from top to bottom. In this case, double-tapping starts the Google Assistant and a second double-tapping takes a screenshot.

Double tap actions


To change the order of actions or to remove an action, tap and hold the “=” symbol in the corner of the action card. Drag it to the trash to remove it.

Drag the card to the trash

To add a new Action, tap the Add Action button at the bottom of the screen.

tap Add Action

There are different action categories to choose from. We encourage you to explore each one to see what you can do. Here are some examples:

  • Begin: Launch certain apps, shortcuts, Google Assistant, web searches, etc.
  • Actions: Take a screenshot, open the notification shade, lock the screen, app drawer, play / pause, etc.
  • Utilities: Flashlight, availability mode.
  • Progressive: Hamburger menu / back button, Tasker.

Action categories

Tap the “+” button next to an Action to add it.

add an action

Actions can also contain “requirements”. The requirement must be met for the action to be performed. You can use requests to prevent an action from being started accidentally. Tap on “Add Requirement”.

Tap Add Requirement

Scroll through the list of requirements and tap the “+” button to add one. Multiple requirements can be added to an action.

Add requirement


Configuring the “Triple Tap Actions” works the same way, but you have to enable it first.

Enable triple tap

Next we set up “gates”. These are situations that are similar to the requirements and that prevent the gestures from being performed. Requirements apply to individual actions, while gates apply to all.

Turn on the switch for one of the gates or tap “Add Gate” to add more.

Add gate

That’s it! As mentioned earlier, there are a ton of options in this app. The only limitation is your imagination. You can make some very useful shortcuts if you take some time to explore.

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