At the 2023 Wonderlust event in September, Apple released the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. To be honest, the past few iterations of the Apple Watch have been uninspiring, and this time, the new Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 only come with one under-the-hood upgrade, which is the S9 chipset. However, there’s a software feature that caught everybody’s attention, and it’s the new Double Tap gesture. While the feature did not arrive with the initial release of the watchOS 10, Apple has now enabled this feature with the watchOS 10.1 firmware. So, here’s how you can get the Double Tap feature working on your Apple Watch today and everything you can do with it.
Note: The Double Tap gesture is only available on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 right now.
What is the Apple Watch Double Tap Feature?
Double Tap is a new gesture-based feature that lets you control various functions of your Apple Watch by pinching your thumb and index finger. As mentioned above, it is exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2. This feature uses the accelerometer, gyroscope, and heart rate sensor to measure the changes in blood flow through your wrist to detect the double tap.
While Apple already had AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch, this new feature takes it to a level further by taking advantage of the new S9 SiP found in the latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Basically, Apple aims to make it easier for you to navigate through your Apple Watch and perform functions when your other hand is occupied, and only the one on which you wear the Apple Watch is free. The Double Tap feature on the Apple Watch can be useful in situations like when you’re walking your dog, carrying groceries, or holding cups of coffee.
How to Turn On Double Tap on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2
Unlike other settings, the Double Tap gesture is not enabled by default, so you must turn it on manually to use the feature on your Apple Watch. You can enable the Double Tap gesture directly from your watch or use the Watch app on your iPhone. Here’s how:
On Apple Watch
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, then tap the Gestures option.
- Here, select the Double Tap option at the top, then tap the toggle next to Double Tap to turn it on.
- If prompted, tap the Turn off Accessibility Features button at the bottom of the on-screen alert.
- Now, scroll down and choose your preferred settings for “Playback” (Play/ Pause or Skip) and “Smart Stack” (Advance or Select) for the double tap gesture.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone, then tap on “Gestures” under the My Watch tab.
- Here, tap the Double Tap option and toggle on the Double Tap feature.
- If prompted, tap the Turn off Accessibility Features button in the pop-up message.
- Now, choose your preferred “Playback” (Play/Pause or Skip) and “Smart Stack” (Advance or Select) settings.
Uses of Apple Watch Double Tap Feature
Simply put, the Double Tap gesture eliminates the need to touch or tap the primary button on-screen to interact with the Apple Watch and can work literally anywhere in the watchOS interface, including but not limited to notifications and in an app. For instance:
- You can use the double tap gesture to play and pause the music when listening to Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube Music.
- When receiving a call, you can double-tap to pick it up and double tap again to hang up when you are done.
- If you have a timer running on your Apple Watch, you can pause the timer using the double tap gesture and resume the countdown by doing the same.
- As watchOS 10 adds widgets support to your Apple Watch, the double tap gesture can invoke the smart stack from the watch face and navigate through it.
- And here’s my personal favorite, you can reply with a voice message to a received text with a double tap. Check out the Double Tap feature in action on Beebom’s YouTube channel:
This is how you enable the Double Tap gesture on your Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2. While the feature is exclusive to all Apple Watch models with the S9 chip, you can always use the similar but limited accessibility feature, AssistiveTouch, if you own an Apple Watch Series 4 and newer model. If you’re an Android user and think you are missing out on this feature, here’s how to get Apple Watch 9’s Double-Tap gesture on Galaxy Watches.