Google’s Pixel smartphones feature several features that make them stand out from other Android smartphones in the market. Quick Tap is one such feature.

google pixel quick tap feature

It was first introduced on the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 with Android 11 back in 2020, and since then, been released to more Pixel smartphones, including the Pixel 5a and the Pixel 6 series, with support for new actions.

If you’ve got your hands on the all-new Pixel 7/Pixel 7 Pro or any of the older Pixel models that supports the feature, you must take advantage of Quick Tap to get more out of your device.

Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

What Is Quick Tap?

Quick Tap is one of the many gestures available on Google Pixel smartphones that simplify certain operations on the device. Using Quick Tap, you can carry out the operation you’ve to perform frequently by simply double-tapping the back of your phone.

In a way, Google’s Quick Tap is similar to Apple’s Back Tap feature. Except that, with Apple’s offering, you get two tap options: Single and Double, so you can assign more than one operation to the tap gesture, whereas you’re restricted to just one action on the Pixel.

What Can You Do With Quick Tap?

As of writing this, Google lets you program Quick Tap to any of these actions:

  • Take screenshots
  • Access the digital assistant
  • Play/pause media
  • See recent apps
  • Show notifications
  • Toggle flashlight
  • Open apps

Among these actions, opening apps is quite a useful one that you can use to quickly access your most-used apps. It’s even more effective with certain apps that let you access some of their features/settings directly using the Quick Tap gesture.

For instance, rather than having the Quick Tap action to launch the Camera app, you can set it to open directly with the selfie camera instead if you use it more often.

How to Set Up Quick Tap on a Pixel Phone

Setting up Quick Tap is as simple as toggling on the feature and choosing the action you want to perform with it based on your preference. Follow these steps to do this:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Pixel phone.
  2. Scroll down and go to System > Gestures > Quick Tap to start actions.
    enable quick tap on pixel
  3. Flip the toggle for Use Quick Tap on.
    turning on quick tap on pixel
  4. Click on any of the actions listed under Tap back of phone twice to to set the action you wish to perform with the Quick Tap gesture.
    set up quick tap on pixel
  5. If you plan on launching an app with Quick Tap, select the Open app action and choose the app from the list. Here, you’ll see a gear icon next to some apps, which indicates you can launch this app into specific menus/settings/features. Tap the gear icon and select the option to set it as an action for the Quick Tap gesture.
    quick tap app options

How to Use Quick Tap on Pixel Smartphones

Once you’ve set up Quick Tap on your Pixel phone, tap your phone twice whenever you need to perform the operation you’ve just set up, and it will carry it out for you.

If, after using Quick Tap for a while, you’re experiencing accidental triggers—perhaps because you’re using your phone without a case or some other reason—toggle on the Require stronger taps option. This will require a stronger tap to carry out the action and prevent accidental triggers.

Note: Quick Tap only works when the phone is unlocked.

What Are Some Good Use Cases of Quick Tap?

Among the Quick Tap actions currently offered by Google on Pixel devices, the Open app action is one of the more powerful ones. We say this because it allows you to carry out advanced operations, and using it properly can maximize Quick Tap’s effectiveness.

The easiest way to explore the best options available on an app is to head over to Quick Tap settings on your device. From there, select the Open app action and tap the gear icon next to an app to view the available features/settings.

Of course, this means that the more apps you’ve got installed on your device, the more options you can explore. But based on our usage, here are some useful actions we’ve found across different apps:

  • Camera: Take a video / Take a selfie
  • Chrome: New Incognito tab
  • Instagram: New post / Chats/ Camera
  • Tick Tick: Add Task / Calendar
  • Google Calendar: New reminder / New event / New task
  • Maps: Work / Home
  • YouTube: Subscriptions / Shorts / Search / Explore

As you can imagine, Quick Tap’s Open app action allows for countless possibilities. However, since Quick Tap is currently limited to just one gesture, you must use it wisely. Basically, the idea is to use it in a way that lets you carry out an action while you’re performing some other operation.

Increase the Capabilities of Your Pixel With Quick Tap

Quick Tap is one of the most useful additions to Pixel smartphones. It essentially gives you a button on the back of your phone to which you can assign your more frequently performed action to carry it out quickly and easily by simply double-tapping the back of your phone.

And while Quick Tap works nicely and manages to detect the gesture and execute action consistently, we’d like Google to introduce a triple-tap gesture to Quick Tap at some point. Doing so will make Quick Tap more functional and let you assign two different actions to two different gestures within Quick Tap, similar to the Back Tap feature on the iPhone.

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