Google to bring back popular ‘Columbus’ feature with Android 12

Android 12 could see Google bringing back the 'Columbus' feature

As things stand, Android 12 looks set to be released this year. Going by the trajectory of development and the recent reports, the Android 12 update will bring a ton of exciting features including the return of a popular feature that was last spotted on developer versions of Android 11 but missed out on the final build.

Android 12 update could see the return of Columbus feature

Before the final version of Android 11 was released, a neat Columbus feature (i.e. double tap on the back of the phone) was slated to be introduced in the developer preview. Unfortunately, this feature didn’t make the cut, which meant there was no replacement for Pixel’s edge squeeze gesture that was axed in the recent Pixel models.

This feature conceals the ability to perform numerous actions by simply double-tapping on the back of the phone – it is similar to the screen getting awakened by tapping on the display.

Earlier, double-tapping on the back of the phone was supposed to launch Google Assistant, but with this new feature, you will be able to assign this gesture to almost any other action including start the camera, turn off the clock, mute the sound of an incoming call, pause video playback, and more.

Android 12

To prevent any accidental pushes or unnecessary actions from being interpreted as a double tap, you will first have to register the ‘gesture’. Moreover, this feature can be completely turned off too.

Android 12 leaked features and upgrades

The recent rumors hint at Google being very active in the development of the upcoming OS update. Google is said to be working on a number of features for the upcoming OS including –

  • Android 12 will see changes in the app pair and split-screen feature. Google is expected to offer a single screen for the two apps to perform as one single task. The users will be able to pick two of their recently used apps to become a pair from the ‘recent apps’ menu.
  • Google could add gaming-focused features on the Android 12 update to offer an immersive gaming experience
  • Google is said to finally upgrade the controller rumble issue on Android. The game controllers connected to Android via Bluetooth or USB will support haptic feedback.
  • Google will also add support for amplitude control for generating custom vibration effects.
  • Android 12 is likely to allow nearby sharing of Wi-Fi passwords between devices having Android 12 OS. With the new OS, Wi-Fi password sharing will be available for the Nearby Share feature.
  • Google is said to be working on the ‘Restricted Networking Mode’. When activated, this mode will provide access to the apps that have the needed network permission and rest with apps that don’t have network access permission.



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