How to Launch Any App Using Back Tap Gestures in iOS 14

We have already discussed that there are a lot of cool features in iOS 14, and a bunch of impressive accessibility improvements such as sound recognition as well. Recently, we even discussed the new back tap gesture in iOS 14. However, did you know you can even use the back tap gesture to launch an app on your iPhone? And not just some system apps, you can use this gesture to launch any app on your iPhone without a hassle. Excited? Let’s see how to launch any app using back tap gestures in iOS 14.

Launch Apps Using Back Tap Gestures in iOS 14

To do this neat little trick, you will have to perform a little one-time set up of sorts. It’s nothing too difficult, but just for the sake of clarity I will be including the set up in this tutorial as well. First, let’s understand how this works. I am sure you already know that back tap gestures allow you to run Siri Shortcuts. Well that’s exactly what we will use to launch apps using these taps. Neat, right? Basically, first we will create a Siri Shortcut that launches the app we want to open, and then we will set it up in our back tap gestures.

To keep things clean and simple I am dividing this tutorial into two parts:

Creating a Siri Shortcut to Launch an App

Note: You will need the Shortcuts app installed on your iPhone. If you don’t have it, you can download it from the iOS App Store (free) before proceeding.

  • Launch the Shortcuts app and tap on the ‘+’ icon to create a new shortcut. Now tap on ‘Add Action’.

open shortcuts app and add new action

  • Tap on the search box and type ‘Open’ and select ‘Open App’ from the list of results.

launch any app using back tap gestures step 2

  • Tap on ‘Choose‘ and select the app you want to open. For example’s sake, I will open the Gmail app.

select the app you want to launch with the shortcut

  • Tap on ‘Next‘ and enter a name for the shortcut. Then tap ‘Done’.

launch any app using back tap gestures step 4

That’s it, the first part is complete. Now we just need to run this shortcut with our back taps. Let’s do that.

Customising Back Tap Gestures to Run the Shortcut

Note: I’m assuming you are aware of how to customise back tap gestures in iOS 14. If not, make sure you read that article to follow along.

  • Select either ‘Double Tap’ or ‘Triple Tap’. I will select double tap for this tutorial.

choose double or triple tap to launch the app

  • Scroll down and select your new Shortcut from the Siri Shortcuts section.

Now, any time I double tap on the back of my iPhone, it will launch the Gmail app. You can try it out right now, it should be working for you as well. Cool, isn’t it?

Use Back Taps to Launch Apps

So that’s how you can use back tap gestures in iOS 14 to launch any app on your iPhone! I don’t use this feature a lot, but it does make for a neat party trick when people get confused as to how you launched an app without saying anything or touching the screen. You can also create more complicated shortcuts and run them with these taps to make interesting things happen on your iPhone. This is a pretty powerful feature and you should definitely play around with it to get a better feel for it.

So, what do you think? Do you want to use back taps to launch apps on your iPhone or do you prefer using them for simple accessibility features only? Let us know in the comments.

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