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Double tap is a feature coming to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra in watchOS 10.1. Here's how to set it up, what you can do and how to set it up.
We tested Double Tap on our Apple Watch and found it to be a useful new feature. It's great for performing everyday tasks without the need for a second hand.
This feature is currently in beta testing before it is available to all users of the new watch.
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How Double Tap Works
The new Double Tap feature works by quickly tapping your index finger and thumb together. This will trigger the action on your Apple Watch.
When you double-tap, a small blue icon will appear at the top of the screen, simulating the double-tap gesture.
This is similar to the previously available Quick Actions feature found in previous generations of Apple Watch, but takes advantage of the S9 SiP found in the latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
S9 Built-in is a powerful new chip that analyzes the minute movements in your Apple Watch, which it detects using a gyroscope and accelerometer, and combines this with changes in the blood vessels in your wrist, which it detects using a heart rate monitor.
If you have watchOS 10.1 — currently in beta testing — and the new Apple Watch, you can try Double Tap for yourself.
What a double tap can do
The simplest explanation for Double Tap is that it simulates pressing a primary button on the screen. This works in a notification, in an app, or anywhere else in watchOS.
If you're in a stopwatch app, double-tapping will start or stop the timer. Double tapping allows you to take a photo in the Camera app. Of course, it can also control media playback by playing or pausing content.
One of our favorite ways to use Double Tap is to access the Smart Stack. Double-tap the watch face and the smart stack will pop up from the bottom of the display.
Whenever you subsequently initiate a double tap, it moves to the next widget in the stack. It's a great hands-free way to check your rings, weather, news and more.
Another useful use is when you have an incoming message. When the message — be it iMessage, Slack or others — you can double click to post a reply.
After double tapping, it will start responding and start listening while you dictate your message. The second double-tap gesture will send the message.
Different apps will do different things with double tap, and you'll have to try it yourself to see how it interacts. If this doesn't work, the icon will jump back and forth across the screen, letting you know that nothing happened.
How to set up double tap
Double tap will be enabled on your Apple Watch by default after updating to watchOS 10.1. If you want to disable it, you can go to Settings > Gestures > Double tap to disable this feature.
There are two ways to set up Double Tap, depending on your preferences. First, you can choose what happens during media playback.
You can play/pause current movies or music, or double tap to skip to the next track/section.
The second set of parameters is for the smart stack. The default is to move to the next widget in the stack, but you can select and open the active widget if you wish.
When will watchOS 10.1 be released
On the new Apple Watch, you'll need to install watchOS 10.1, which is currently only available in beta. Apple hasn't announced a launch date for watchOS 10.1, but we have a time when to expect it.
Apple said that Double Tap will be available to users in October, so we expect the update to arrive by the end of the month.