One of the features announced with Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 earlier this month is a new Double Tap gesture that lets users interact with the system without touching the screen. However, Apple said that this feature wouldn’t be available at launch and would come later this year. With watchOS 10.1, users will be able to use the new Double Tap gesture.
New Apple Watch Double Tap gesture
With Double Tap, Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 users can tap their thumb and index finger together twice to trigger certain actions in watchOS. For example, the gesture can be used to dismiss notifications, snooze alarms, and answer calls.
Apple says that the improved algorithms of the new S9 chip inside the new Apple Watch models is able to detect the “unique signature of tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap.” Even so, those who have bought an Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 may have noticed that there’s no way to enable this feature yet.
This will change with watchOS 10.1, which is now available to developers as beta. 9to5Mac has found code in the new beta that confirms that the new Double Tap gesture is coming with watchOS 10.1 for those with the latest Apple Watch models. However, there’s still no option to turn on the new gesture in beta 1.
How to enable it on previous Apple Watch models
If you don’t have an Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2, there’s still a way to use the new Double Tap gesture. That’s because it was actually first introduced as an accessibility feature in 2021. To do this, go to the Accessibility settings on your Apple Watch and look for Quick Actions. Enable this option and you’ll be able to use the Double Tap gesture to interact with the system.
The gesture works pretty much the same way as on the new Apple Watch models, with a few minor differences. However, it may not be as precise due to the lack of optimization of the algorithms in the old chips.
As for watchOS 10.1, Apple says that the update will be released to the public sometime in October.
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