Adding a button or function via a software update seems impossible, but Apple has taken a step in this direction. With the new feature in iOS 14 it is possible to transform the back of your iPhone into a touch sensitive surface.

First of all, you have to assume that this works on iPhone 8 or later models (including iPhone SE 2020). With the new feature, you can perform various actions by tapping on the back of your iPhone after being assigned.

‘Touch back’ in iOS 14 works through the back cover. Depending on the cap, you may have to play more or less hard, depending on the iPhone model.

You can assign two functions, one for double tap, and one for triple tap. There are a number of suggested features to choose from, but since you can also assign shortcuts, the possibilities are almost limitless.

For example, configure the ‘Control Center’ to be activated after double-tapping, or associate the three-time press to open a messaging application such as WhatsApp.

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The new function is a bit hidden in the configuration settings, but it is easy and intuitive to assign the desired action.

How to set ‘Play back’

  • Go to ‘Settings’ settings and select ‘Accessibility> Touch’.
  • Scroll down until you see the ‘Play back’ option. Click on it.
  • Now you can assign functions to ‘Double tap’ or ‘Triple tap’.
  • Select one of the suggested functions or use the ‘Shortcuts’ app to program your own function.
  • Now you can launch selected functions by tapping your finger two or three times on the back of your iPhone.

Which iPhone models are compatible with ‘Touch Back’

Currently, the new function provided by iOS 14 is not compatible with all iPhone models that support this version of the operating system. In fact, the iPhone 6 or 6s family, as well as the iPhone 7 are not covered.

The new functionality can be deployed in mobile models from the iPhone 8 generation, through the iPhone XR, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, the iPhone SE and the new generation of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

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As a general rule, the usual cases do not affect this functionality, although it is likely that with higher volume cases you will have to apply more effort when playing on the back, compared to doing it directly on the back of the iPhone.

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