iOS 14 will respond to taps on the back of your iPhone

Your AirPods will also charge intelligently to maximize battery life.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

People are still discovering features in iOS 14 now that its developer beta is available, and that includes a few clever tricks. Most notably, Federico Viticci and others have noticed a new “Back Tap” feature that lets you perform actions and shortcuts by double- or triple-tapping the back of your iPhone. It’s intended as an accessibility function and could clearly be helpful for those with limited motor skills, although it’s easy to see this being helpful for anyone who’d rather not reach across a massive phone screen to perform a common task.

Apple is also determined to wring extra battery life out of your AirPods. MacRumors and others have learned that iOS 14 extends optimized battery charging to the wireless earbuds. Much like what you see with iPhones and Macs, the feature will recharge your AirPods’ batteries to 80 percent but wait until you’re more likely to use them before pushing for a 100 percent charge. This could help the overall lifespan of your AirPods — an important consideration when the batteries aren’t that large to start with.

There are a few other interesting tweaks so far. Viticci pointed out an accessibility feature that sends notifications when your iPhone detects sounds that might require your attention, such as a baby crying, a smoke alarm or even a running tap. The 9to5Mac team, meanwhile, observed that you can choose to limit Photos access to only selected pictures rather than your entire library. You won’t have to potentially expose family pictures or other sensitive shots to an app just because you want to share your latest meal on a social network. There are likely more harder-to-find features coming, but it’s evident Apple is thinking about a slew of real-world use cases.