TechNew gesture in Apple Watch. Tap twice, but not on the screen

New gesture in Apple Watch. Tap twice, but not on the screen

Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Series 9
Images source: © Apple
ed. KLT

9:37 AM EDT, October 26, 2023

The latest watchOS 10.1 system has brought a new feature to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 - double-tap gesture support. This is a quick and convenient way to interact with the device, which users will certainly appreciate.

The new double-tap gesture allows users to easily control the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, all with one hand and without the need to touch the display. Just double-tap your index finger on the thumb of the hand wearing the watch to perform many of the most commonly performed actions. This new feature is a great complement to the already available gestures, such as tapping, waving, waking up by lifting or silencing by covering with a hand.

It's easy to imagine when the new feature of Apple watches would come in handy. When one hand is busy, you can operate the watch with the other, without the need to touch it.

Double tapping allows users to perform the main action in many different applications and notifications in watchOS, including:

  • opening Smart Stack on any watch face and scrolling through available widgets.
  • receiving and ending phone calls.
  • browsing messages in notifications, scrolling through longer messages after an additional double tap, responding via dictation, and sending messages.
  • pausing, resuming, and turning off the timer.
  • stopping and resuming the stopwatch.
  • snoozing when the alarm rings.
  • starting and pausing music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
  • turning on the new Elevation View in the Compass app.
  • taking photos with the iPhone using the camera remote in the Camera app.
  • turning on and off automatic reminders from the Workout app.
  • performing main

"Double tap on the Apple Watch"

The double-tap gesture works on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 thanks to the SiP S9 system, which is about 25 percent more energy efficient than the previous generation, and a new 4‑core Neural Engine system, which can perform machine learning-based tasks up to twice as fast.

The Neural Engine system processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart rate sensor, using a new algorithm based on machine learning. It detects a unique signature of delicate wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the hand and fingers perform a double-tap gesture.

The double-tap gesture feature always works as long as the display is awake. And although the function is available all day, it has a minor impact on battery life. Apple claims that in the Apple Watch Series 9 model, it lasts for 18 hours, and in the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – for 36 hours.

Double tapping works in most applications and notifications and automatically performs the main action. In two cases, the user can choose what action to set up: scrolling widgets in a smart stack or choosing the first available widget playing or stopping multimedia during an active session, or moving to the next track.

The watchOS 10.1 system is available today for Apple Watch Series 4 and newer models. It requires an iPhone XS or newer with iOS 17. On the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 with watchOS 10.1, the double-tap gesture is by default activated and does not need to be configured additionally. It can be turned off in settings. The function is not supported by the following apps and solutions: ECG, Heartbeat, Blood Oxygen, Focus Sleep Mode, Walkie-Talkie, Maps (when navigation is running), Mindfulness (during an active session), SOS features (Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, Accident Detection) and Workout (during an active session).

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