A new Samsung app adds support for tapping the back of the company's phones to launch apps and features, just like iPhone's Back Tap offering.
The feature, which launches as part of the RegiStar Good Lock module, is now available for Samsung's latest phones. With RegiStar installed, Galaxy S And Flip device owners can launch apps and trigger actions by double or triple tapping their back panels. Those who have the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can also press firmly on the device's screen to initiate a command — just like we used to be able to on iPhones with 3D Touch capabilities.
A borrowed feature
Android Police reports that the new RegiStar addition allows people to take screenshots, launch Google Assistant, change system settings, and more by tapping the device's back.
The new feature is identical to Apple's Back Tap, an accessibility feature that allows people to double or triple-tap the back of their iPhone and have specific things happen. Back Tap's actions include launching the camera, turning on the flashlight, muting the iPhone, and more.
This isn't the first time that Samsung has borrowed a feature from Apple, and, to be clear, Apple isn't above doing the same in reverse. But this time is particularly notable given Samsung's recent YouTube ads pointing fun at iPhone buyers for waiting for features instead of just getting them on another phone. The ad tells iPhone owners to "get off the fence," and its timing could have been better.
Snark aside, Tap Back and other features are essential accessibility features. So it's great news that Samsung phone owners will now be able to use something similar on their handsets with RegiStar installed.
It's also the best iPhone feature for people who want to turn on a part without diving into the menus quickly.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
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