Along with the release of iOS and iPadOS 17.1, Apple also released watchOS 10.1 today for Apple Watch series 4 and later. One exciting addition included together with the new firmware update is the Double Tap ability, which lets you control certain features by simply tapping your index finger and thumb together twice.
However, keep in mind that this is only available on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models. Reason being that the two come with the newer and faster Neural Engine, which processes data from the onboard accelerometer, gyroscope and optical heart sensor, along with a new machine learning algorithm. In short, these allow Apple’s latest wearables to detect whether the user is performing the gesture and register it as a form of command.
So, what can you do with it? As revealed by Apple, the following are the numerous use cases where Double Tap comes in handy:
Opening the Smart Stack from any watch face and scrolling through widgets in the stack.
Answering and ending phone calls.
Viewing a message from a notification, scrolling through longer notifications with an additional double tap, replying using dictation, and sending a message.
Pausing, resuming, and ending a timer.
Stopping and resuming a stopwatch.
Snoozing an alarm.
Playing and pausing music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Switching to the new Elevation view in the Compass app.
Taking an iPhone photo with the Camera Remote in the Camera app.
Starting or stopping automatic Workout reminders.
Performing the primary action from notifications, such as replying to an incoming message from a messaging app and snoozing reminders — including from third parties.
But before you try the feature for yourself, there are some things that you should note. For one thing, Double Tap is activated by default once you’ve updated your Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 to watchOS 10.1. Secondly, the gesture will only be registered if you have the wearable facing up or towards you, preventing any accidental inputs.
Also keep in mind that for playback controls, Double Tap will only work with Apple’s own Music and Podcast apps while it does nothing for third-party ones like Spotify and so on. Additionally, performing the gesture on Music will only pause and play a song by default, so if you want to skip tracks instead, you’ll have to change through your Apple Watch’s Settings menu. From there, navigate to Gesture, select Double Tap, scroll down until you reach Playback, and then select Skip.
The same menu also allows you to customise Double Tap for watchOS’s Smart Stack feature, where you can choose to either have it select a stack or advance through each one. On default, performing the gesture will trigger the latter command.
And that’s as much customisation you can get as Apple only lets you play around with just these two, unfortunately. It’s unclear whether we’ll be getting any new commands or settings for Double Tap in the near future, but we certainly hope that the company will consider this.
(Source: Apple [official website])
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