Tired of fumbling around in the dark? With iOS 14 or later on an iPhone 8 or later, you can quickly turn on and off the flashlight with two or three taps on the back of your iPhone with a feature called Back Tap. How to set it up.
How does Back Tap work?
Back Tap is an iOS accessibility feature that detects physical fingerprints on the back of your iPhone using the phone̵7;s built-in accelerometer. It works on iPhone 8 and newer iPhones. Once configured in Settings, you can use two or three taps to launch many different actions on your phone, including shortcuts, which is what we use here to turn on the flashlight.
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Create the flashlight shortcut
To turn the flashlight on and off, we need to create a custom shortcut with the built-in shortcut app. Open “Shortcuts” to do so. If you do not find it, try a Spotlight search: Swipe down from the center of the Home screen with one finger. Type “shortcuts” in the search field, then tap the “Shortcuts” icon.
If the “Shortcuts” overview screen appears when the app opens, tap the “My Shortcuts” tab, then select “All Shortcuts.”
On the “All Shortcuts” screen, press the plus (“+”) button.
Then a “New Shortcut” page appears where you add the steps (called “actions”) to the shortcut. Let’s first rename the shortcut. Press the “ellipses” button (three dots).
Tap the “Shortcut Name” text area and rename the shortcut to “Flashlight Switch”, then tap “Done”.
When you are back on the shortcut screen, tap Add action.
When the “Actions” panel appears, search for “flashlight”. Press “Set flashlight” in the result.
The “Set flashlight” action appears in the action list. By default, it is only set to turn on the flashlight when the shortcut is running. What we want it to do is turn on the flashlight to either turn it on or off when the shortcut is running. To do so, tap on the word “Turn” in the phrase “Turn flashlight on”.
When the “Operation” menu appears, select “Toggle”.
Back in the action list, “Flashlight” should now read “Switch flashlight.” This means that if you drive the shortcut and the flashlight is off, the flashlight will light up. If you drive the shortcut while the flashlight is on, the flashlight goes out. You program!
Press “Done” to complete the shortcut.
After that you will see the shortcut “Flashlight switch” in your list. You can test it now by pressing the shortcut button. If the flashlight turns on, press the shortcut button again to turn it off.
Now you are ready to go to the next step: link the shortcut to Back Tap.
Configure Back Tap to run the flashlight shortcut
Now that we have set the shortcut that turns on and off the flashlight, we need to configure how to activate it with Back Tap. Open “Settings” to do so.
In Settings, navigate to Accessibility> Tap.
In “Touch Settings”, select “Back Tap”.
In the “Back Tap” settings, select whether you want to activate your flashlight with two taps (“Double Tap”) or three taps (“Triple Tap”) on the back of the phone and then select the matching option.
Then scroll down the action list until you see the “Shortcuts” section. Choose the “Flashlight Toggle” shortcut we just created.
Press again once to make sure the change is registered, and then exit Settings. The next time you double or triple tap the back of your iPhone (depending on how you set it up), your iPhone flashlight turns on. Press the back two or three times again to turn it off. Have fun illuminating dark spaces!