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Touchscreen presses and gestures make up the vast majority of our interactions with smartphones these days, but sometimes it's nice to be able to perform an action without looking, as we could by squeezing the Active Edge to summon the Google Assistant on older Pixels. A similar feature that enabled double-tapping on the back of the phone was in the works for Android 11 but didn't make it into the final version. Thankfully, it seems like it will make a comeback in Android 12.
Code-named Columbus, the feature used a combination of the phone's accelerometer and gyroscope to detect taps on the back of the phone and carry out a pre-defined function like taking a screenshot or opening an app. Given that the newer Pixels lost the ability to activate Google Assistant with a squeeze, this gesture would be a fitting alternative.
The folks over at 9to5Google have seen information that indicates the feature is making a comeback on Android 12. Similar to its previous implementation, it will let users customize its action, but it could also get a toggle for sensitivity and an easy way to enable/disable it.
With the first developer preview of the next Android iteration expected to arrive sometime in February, we probably won't have to wait too long to see this feature in action.