Of all the things Android 12 looks to be adding, one of the more functional features is a new Pixel 5 gesture.
Android Police discovered that a new gesture feature will seemingly be part of the Android 12 rollout, but probably only on the Pixel 5. The feature, which has been visible in the Pixel 5 menus since the first developer preview, is a double tap gesture that manages a few different functions.
Also worth noting is that this is a double tap for the back of the device and not the screen. It’s also completely separate from the fingerprint scanner gestures. Lastly, the feature isn’t quite live yet. So Google may have plans to launch with a later preview, or one of the betas coming later this year.
Double tap the back of your Pixel 5 on Android 12 to pause media
This might be something that ends up extremely useful for anyone that places their phone face down. Pausing and playing media is one of the functions of this gesture.
So if you place your phone screen side down, you could do a quick double tap on the back of the device to pause a song. Then quickly double tap it again to restart playback. The menu for this gesture also shows that it can launch Google Assistant, take screenshots, see recent apps, and open your notifications.
There’s also a toggle you can enable that will make the phone require harder taps. This way you don’t accidentally initiate the gesture and activate the function you have it set to.
This could end up on other Pixel phones
While the report only mentions the Pixel 5, it’s still possible for Google to bring this to other devices at some point. That doesn’t mean it will, but it probably can. So it’s something to keep an eye out for if you think you’d use it.
If you’re using a Pixel 4a, Pixel 4, Pixel 3a, or Pixel 3 device, you just might see this gesture pop up when Android 12 arrives. Keeping that in mind, it’s also entirely possible that the gesture won’t go live until Android 12 does officially launch. Which wouldn’t be until quite a bit later this year.
In addition to this double tap gesture, the Android 12 developer preview has also introduced accent colors for the media player. You can also stash picture-in-picture videos and the one-handed mode now seems to be live as well.