Enable the hidden tap to wake feature on your rooted Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is hiding a great feature that's easy to enable. Photo: Google

The Nexus 6 is hiding a great feature that’s easy to enable. Photo: Google

Early versions of the Nexus 6, including those issued to select reviews, had an awesome double-tap to wake function much like the HTC One M8, which was inexplicably removed by Google before the handset made its public debut. It’s unclear why it was pulled, but if you’ve already rooted your device, you can get it back with this simple app.

Having a tap to wake gesture on your smartphone is super useful, and having enjoyed it myself on the One M8, I miss it on other devices. It’s particularly handy on larger devices — like the Nexus 6 — that are more difficult to use in one hand, because it means you don’t have to reach for the power button when you want to use your phone.

“Nexus 6 Double Tap to Wake,” does exactly what you would expect it to. Once installed, it enables the tap to wake function Google was offering on the Nexus 6 before it rolled out its final software. The feature is still baked into the Nexus 6’s Lollipop software, it just isn’t enabled out of the box in the latest build.

You need a rooted device to use this tweak, but setup is extremely simple. You should know before you use it, however, that it isn’t quite perfect. Some have reported that it stops working after the device has been asleep for some time — perhaps that’s why Google pulled it for now — and it’s currently unclear how much of an impact it will have on battery.

If you want to try it out anyway, you can either buy¬†Double Tap to Wake from Google Play for $0.99, or download the APK for free from the XDA Developers forum. You get exactly the same release with both, but the Play Store option allows you to donate to the app’s developer if you wish to (until Google pulls the app).