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Double Tap brings Vision Pro's coolest feature to the Apple Watch Series 9

Look Ma, one hand.

Published onSeptember 12, 2023

Apple Event 2023 Apple Watch double tap (3)
  • During the Apple Watch Series 9 launch, Apple introduced a new Double Tap gesture control.
  • The feature allows users to complete simple on-device actions with just two fingers.
  • It will be available on the device via a software update next month.

Thanks to a powerful new Neural Engine, the Apple Watch Series 9 now offers users an even quicker way to interact with the wearable. The new Double Tap feature leverages the device’s health and fitness sensors to monitor users’ finger movements. Using data from its accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor, the watch learns to identify micro wrists movement and blood flow changes when a user taps their fingers. With a quick double tap of thumb and index fingers, users can now perform a handful of tasks. These actions include everything from playing music or snoozing an alarm, to answering or ending a phone call. Users can even double tap to open Smart Stack and scroll through widgets.

The feature should look familiar to anyone with experience with Apple’s Vision Pro. It’s very similar to the Vision Pro’s clicking gesture. The new feature is especially helpful in situations where users may only have one hand in free. Based on the promo video debuted during Apple’s Wanderlust event, that can be quite often. Whether your other hand is busy holding a coffee, or holding onto a climbing wall, Double Tap makes the device more accessible. It will be available on the new Series 9 in a software update next month.

The feature is not entirely revolutionary on a wearable as Apple offers similar accessibility gesture controls already. Even Google as well has boasted hand gestures on Wear OS devices in the past, allowing users to scroll and with the turn of a wrist. However, companies often bury these features in accessibility menus rather than streamline them for popular use. Apple markets Double Tap on the Series 9 as a new feature intended for wider use on a daily basis.

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