The Google Pixel double-tap gesture that was in the Android 11 initial Developer Preview was an interesting feature. Unfortunately, that gesture codenamed "Columbus" did not make it to the final release of Android 11. However, there is some good news. According to 9to5Google, It appears that the Google Pixel double-tap gesture could come in Android 12.
Now, the codename "Columbus" is in reference to the character Columbus from the movie Zombieland. The character has a “double-tap” rule when it comes to dealing with the undead to ensure they stayed down. The codename is pretty fitting don't you think?
But that wasn’t its only function as it could be configured for various actions. You could easily launch the camera with it. 9to5Google also found that the gesture could be used to easily dismiss a timer or snooze an alarm.
It was originally believed that “Columbus” would replace the “Active Edge” gesture. This gesture is absent on the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and the Pixel 5, so the “Columbus” gesture would have been a welcome addition. As mentioned it was absent in the full Android 11 release.
Android 12 could bring back the Google Pixel double-tap gesture
However, it appears Google is looking to revive the “Columbus” gesture on Google Pixel phones with Android 12. "Double-tap" will be the new name now. Google must really like Zombieland.
With the gesture, you will be able to do one of a small list of things. These things include activating the Google Assistant, take a screenshot, pause/resume media playback, open the notification shade, or open the recent apps view. Oddly launching the camera is not on this list.
Bringing this back in Android 12 would be very welcome as it gives more accessibility. The gesture was too sensitive according to 9to5Google. In order to tackle this problem, Google has made it possible for you to make your phone only recognize firm taps. Just don’t hurt yourself trying to activate the gesture.
If your device still activates that action tied to the “Double Tap” gesture you can also disable the gesture like all other gestures. The Android 11 Developer Preview landed last year in mid-February. Android 12 may follow that same pattern, and if it does then the Android 12 Developer Preview could drop soon.
“Columbus” was an exciting find for many people who had the Android 11 Developer Preview. So to see Google possibly bringing it back is exciting. Unfortunately, like any feature, it could be cut from the final release again.