Using a feature called Back Tap on iPhone 8 or newer running iOS 14 or later, you can configure your iPhone to play or pause your music just by tapping two or three times on the back of your phone. Hereâ€™s how to set it up.
Part 1: Create the Play/Pause Shortcut
To play or pause music with taps, weâ€™ll need help from an Apple shortcut, which is a type of automated procedure that you can set up on your iPhone to perform a task. But not to worryâ€”in this case, the task is very simple, so creating it is easy. Weâ€™ll walk you through the process.
First, launch the Shortcuts app. If you canâ€™t find it, swipe downward from the center of the screen until you see a search bar. Type â€œShortcuts,â€� then tap the Shortcuts app icon that appears.
Once Shortcuts is open, tap the â€œMy Shortcutsâ€� button on the bottom of the screen and select â€œAll Shortcuts.â€�
On the â€œAll Shortcutsâ€� screen, tap the plus (â€œ+â€�) button to add a new shortcut.
On the â€œNew Shortcutâ€� page, tap the ellipses button (three dots in a circle) to begin renaming the shortcut.
On the â€œDetailsâ€� card, tap the â€œShortcut Nameâ€� text area, type â€œPlay/Pause Music,â€� then tap â€œDone.â€�
Next, tap the â€œAdd Actionâ€� button.
In the â€œActionsâ€� panel that appears, type â€œPlay/pauseâ€� in the search bar, then select â€œPlay/Pauseâ€� from the list of results below.
Next, youâ€™ll see an overview of our very simple Shortcut. It will read â€œNow Playing,â€� then list the â€œPlay/Pause on iPhoneâ€� action. When youâ€™re satisfied, tap â€œDone.â€�
After that, tap the â€œPlay/Pauseâ€� music button in your shortcuts list to test it out. Music will begin to play. If you tap it again, the music will pause. It works!
Part 2: Configure Back Tap
Next, weâ€™ll need to configure the Back Tap feature to use the â€œPlay/Pause Musicâ€� shortcut that we just created. To do so, open Settings.
In Settings, navigate to Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap.
In â€œBack Tapâ€� settings, you can choose whether two or three taps will trigger the â€œPlay/Pause Musicâ€� shortcut. Tap the one youâ€™d prefer.
Youâ€™ll see a list of actions that can be triggered if you use Back Tap. Scroll down the list until you get to the â€œShortcutsâ€� section at the bottom and tap the â€œPlay/Pause Musicâ€� shortcut that we created earlier. When itâ€™s been selected, it will have a blue check mark beside it.
After that, exit Settings.
Tap the back of your iPhone two or three times (depending on how you set it up) and music will start playing. Tap the back again and the music will pause. You can alternate between play and pause as many times as you like. Back Tap works anywhere on the iPhone, including the Lock screen, but your iPhoneâ€™s screen must be active for it to work. Happy listening!
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