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Article: Apple Watch Double Tap Feature - WatchOS 10.1

Apple Watch Double Tap Feature - WatchOS 10.1 - Buckle and Band

Apple Watch Double Tap Feature - WatchOS 10.1

When Apple held their annual Apple Event back in September, they first announced their interesting new feature for the Apple Watch: Double Tap. With this feature, users could operate and control their Apple Watch or app functions within it, simply by tapping their thumb and index finger together.

This feature allows for easier accessibility and usage of the Apple Watch, perhaps for people with limited movement or in any common situation where the user's other hand is full - walking the dog, holding shopping bags or a cup of coffee etc. Double tap allows the user to select the primary action in a wide variety of WatchOS apps, features and notifications, including - 

  • Opening the Smart Stack from any watch face and scrolling through the widgets within
  • Answering phone calls
  • Viewing a message from a notification
  • Pausing, resuming and ending a timer or stopwatch
  • Snoozing an alarm
  • Playing and pausing music, podcasts and audiobooks
  • Switching to elevation view in the Compass app
  • Taking a photo on the iPhone using the Apple Watch camera remote
  • Starting or stopping workouts
  • Performing the primary action from a notification, for example: replying to an incoming message and snoozing reminders

Three Apple Watches in a row, showcasing the double tap gesture icon

Apple's S9 Chip

 The new double tap feature is powered by Apple's new S9 chip which is apparently 25% more power efficient than previous models, and the new 4-core neural engine can perform machine learning tasks twice as fast. The Neural engine processes data from the Apple Watch's onboard accelerometer, gyroscope and optical heart sensor through a state of the art machine learning algorithm. This advanced algorithm has the ability to discern the unique signature of subtle wrist movements and variations in blood flow that occur when users execute a double tap with their index finger and thumb.

The double tap feature works anytime that the display is awake and the feature is available all day long and very minimally affects the Apple Watch Series 9's 18-hour battery life, or the 36 hour battery life of the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Apple Watch Ultra being worn on a wrist, using the double tap feature

Gesture Customisations

The main purpose of the double tap feature is to select the primary function of most apps and functions. In two specific instances, users can to choose a different function. Whether you're navigating the Smart Stack and want to advance through widgets or specifically select the first available widget, or you're in the midst of a media session and wish to play, pause, or skip to the next track – double tap puts the power of choice in your hands. This level of personalised control ensures that your Apple Watch experience is not only intuitive but also tailored to your individual needs.

What do you think of Apple's Double Tap feature? Have you used it yet? If so, let us know what you think in the comments below!

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