The iPhone 13 is hitting the streets with an amazing array of specs, from a flawless HDR screen to an even better camera and longer battery life. But some iPhone users are getting just as excited about a somewhat hidden feature that's actually been available across the iPhone range for some time. That pretty Apple logo on the back of the phone? Many people are just discovering now that you can turn it into a button.
Ever since iOS 14 was released in September 2020, all iPhones from the iPhone 8 up can enable a customisable feature called Back Tap that allows you to tap the back of your phone two or three times to carry out all kinds of actions. The feature was introduced so quietly that more than a year after it emerged, it's still blowing people's minds as they get hold of the new iPhone 13 (see our guide to the best iPhone 13 deals if you're after the new device).
Tucked away in the Accessibility settings, Back Tap is one of those tiny little iOS tweaks that make Apple smartphones so impressive beyond their raw tech (and there's no denying the strength of the raw tech – the iPhone 13 tops our list of the best camera phones).
When enabled, Back Tap allows you to double or triple tap the back of your iPhone to perform all kinds of tasks, from taking a screenshot to opening Control Center, turning on the torch or starting up any Siri shortcut, as shown in the Instagram Reel below.
While Back Tap has been available for over a year, the continuing stream of 'mind blown' emoji reactions to the video above show many are still just discovering the existence of the feature. "Very cool, thanks for the tip!" one user comments, while another adds, "Awesome! Way easier for taking a screenshot!"
Contrary to what the video suggests, you don't actually have to tap the Apple logo specifically. Back Tap uses the iPhone's accelerometer, which can be activated by tapping anywhere on the back of the phone. But since the logo sits slap bang in the middle of the back of your phone so it makes a handy target. If you're going to tap the back of the phone, you're probably going to tap the Apple apple.
Although it's somewhat hidden away and not something you'd be likely to discover by accident, Back Tap is actually very easy to enable and customise. Just head to Settings, Accessibility, Touch, then Back Tap. There you'll find a huge list of options you can assign for both double and triple tap.
We really don't know why Apple hasn't made more noise about this. It rather mundanely describes the feature as "a simple and easy way to trigger convenient tasks for those with accessibility needs", but we think it's a lot more exciting than that makes it sound.
Even in Apple's iOS 14 features list (opens in new tab), Back Tap's relegated to the 'even more' section, which seems to underplay just how useful the feature can be. Creatives who need to take a quick screenshot, or use a shortcut to convert an image type, for example, can now do so with a simple double or triple tap. The reactions still coming in on Twitter show how excited users are to discover the feature a year on.
I do all my reading on the #iPhone and I just made the effort of scrolling easy peasy. Use the Accessibility Backtap feature to allow you to simply double tap or triple tap on the back of your phone to scroll the screen in either direction.#iOS #iPhoneTips #Apple pic.twitter.com/nB0WmAyJy4October 8, 2021
How am i just finding out about the backtap feature pic.twitter.com/lD9WeyC1ZbSeptember 26, 2021
Mind blown did anyone know that the back of your iPhone the Apple symbol is actually a button 😱January 17, 2021
The fact that I can double tap the back of my iPhone and it takes a screenshot is futuristic technology. I’m living in the future.January 18, 2021
Am I the only iPhone user that didn’t know that the apple on the back of our phones is a tap buttonJanuary 17, 2021
If you're considering getting a new iPhone, make sure you see our iPhone 13 review and iPhone 13 Pro review, but note that Apple's previous model, the iPhone 12 also stills packs a punch (and comes with Back Tap functionality!) See today's best iPhone 12 and 13 deals below, and see our guide to Apple Black Friday 2021 for great Apple deals in general.
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