Run SafeWA Quickly and Easily with Back Tap

posted in: IT 0

*Note, this works to load ANY app, so can be used for Service NSW, Service VIC, Check In QLD apps in exactly the same way. Credit for the method to a Reddit user whose name I can’t remember.

OK Australia, yet another lockdown has us wishing this whole COVID-19 debacle would be over. It was never supposed to be COVID-19,20,21,22(etc) anyway.

Until then we have to give our contact tracers as much help as possible by using the SafeWA (or other check-in) app. The only problem? It’s a bit annoying to have to go find the app with multiple taps and swipes and remembering where you put it, especially if you’re wrangling kids simultaneously.

But there’s a better way. You can load it with 3 taps on the back of your iPhone using Shortcuts. This is a set and forget method which will make things easier for you to scan over the next few years, and can be adapted to any other app once circumstances change!
*I’ll put an Android method down the bottom of the post.

In this post I’ll run you through:

  1. What you need
  2. The setup components
  3. The steps in detail

Expert user summary guide

If you’re an expert iPhone user, look no further than these 3 steps.

  1. Have Shortcuts and SafeWA
  2. Create a shortcut to run SafeWA
    • Create New Shortcut>”+Add New”>Scripting>Open App>SafeWA
  3. Link Back Tap to the shortcut
    • Settings>Accessibility>Touch>Backtap>Triple Tap


Step-by-step guide

What you need

  • Have the right phone (iPhone X, XR, Xs, Xs Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12 and later)
  • Have the right iOS (14 or later)
  • Have the right apps (SafeWA and Shortcuts)

The set-up components are:

  1. Get the Shortcuts app
  2. Set up a Shortcut to run the SafeWA app
  3. Set up an accessibility trigger (the back tap) to active the shortcut from anywhere

The Steps in Detail

I will assume you already have the SafeWA app.

STEP 1 – get the Apps you need

Go to the App Store and download the Shortcuts app

STEP 2 – Set up the shortcut

1. Open Shortcuts

2. Tap the + to create a new shortcut

3. Tap “+ Add Action”

4. Tap “Scripting”

5. Tap “Open App”

6. Tap “Choose”

7. In “Search Apps” type “Safe” and that should bring you the right app. Tap “SafeWA”

8. Tap “Next” at the upper right of the screen

9. In “Shortcut Name” type “Open SafeWA”

10. Tap “Done”

You can now test your shortcut by tapping it in the “All Shortcuts” screen. It should load your SafeWA app, ready to scan!

STEP 3 – Set up the Back Tap

1. Go to the “Settings” app

2. Scroll down to the third group of options and tap “Accessibility”

3. Tap “Touch” in the second group of options

4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and tap “Back Tap”

5. Tap “Triple Tap” (here you could tap “Double Tap”, but I figure 3 taps in a row is less likely to be an accident than 2)

6. Scroll down to the bottom group of options (“SHORTCUTS” section) and tap on your “Open SafeWA” shortcut

You’re done!

For this to run, your phone must be unlocked, so there’s no risk of it running in your pocket (unless your phone is unlocked in your pocket, but I’ll leave that one alone).

So, to scan, it’s:
1. Phone out
2. Unlock
3. Triple Tap
4. Scan!

On my phone (iPhone 11 Pro Max) it takes around 5 seconds from getting my phone out to being ready to scan, and I never have to think about where I’ve put the SafeWA app again (and it doesn’t clutter up my home screen!)

A Quick Android Method (Samsung)

A Colleague from QLD tells me Samsung users can go to Settings>Advanced features>Bixby key and under ‘Double press to open Bixby’ select ‘Use single press’. You can then pick whatever app you want (eg. Check in Qld) to be opened when you press the Bixby button.

Hope it saves you some time and effort too!


Follow Dr Stuart McLay:

Emergency Physician

Dr Stuart McLay is passionate about the delivery of exceptional care, everywhere. He is the founder of DeployED, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (FACEM - an Emergency Physician), a Core trainee of the College for Intensive Care Medicine, and a Mass Gathering Medicine / Expedition Medicine enthusiast. He's also a husband to 1, and father to 2, and a great annoyance to many.