The Apple Watch’s New Double Tap Gesture Is A Gamechanger
— Updated on 26 September 2023

The Apple Watch’s New Double Tap Gesture Is A Gamechanger

— Updated on 26 September 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

With the iPhone 15 lineup and new Apple Watch series now available, iOS users are starting to get across all of this generation’s latest updates: Titanium builds for the iPhone 15 Pro models, an all-new Action button, and brighter displays across the board. All are appreciated, yet none are as revolutionary as the Apple Watch’s Double Tap.

It’s simple, really. But it’s also something we’ve never really seen before from the company. And it could very well point towards how Apple does things in the future, with a whole lot of functionality banked on bodily gestures like nodding your head or clicking your fingers in a certain way.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is The Apple Watch Double Tap?

With the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch 2, the tech giant has introduced a function dubbed Double Tap. Essentially, you can answer phone calls, play music, scroll through widgets, silence alarms, as well as stop timers with a gesture (and without even touching your Apple Watch).

It works like this: you simply tap your index finger and thumb together twice in quick succession to control the Apple Watch. Although you’ll also need to have it raised and in full view beforehand.

Double Tap leverages the Apple Watch’s newly calibrated accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart rate sensor in unison to work. Together, they sense disruptions in your blood flow when your fingers are pressed together quickly. That data is then processed with machine learning on a blindingly fast neural engine, prompting the Apple Watch to perform various functions in response to biofeedback.

The practical applications of this are exciting. Imagine having an Apple ecosystem set up in your bedroom, featuring everything from smart lighting to speakers. You might have the lights programmed to dim and the speakers to start playing soft ambient music when it’s time to sleep.

Once you’ve hooked up your Apple Watch to said ecosystem, all you’d need to do is Double Tap to kickstart those actions when you hop into bed.

The Future Of Apple

The Double Tap is an evolution of the pinch-and-clench gesture introduced with AssisstiveTouch in 2021, only far more refined with a more explicit movement; hinting at the tech giant’s desire to move towards more touch-free bodily gestures for future generations.

The next big Apple release is the Vision Pro, which also makes use of some new gestures and advanced sensors. The AR/VR headset will be able to track a user’s eyes and hand movements to provide a seamless interface with punching and swiping controls.

There’s little doubt this is just the beginning of Apple’s exploration of gesture controls. A recently filed patent from the company indicates more gesture controls are on the way, including some for the Apple TV.

As for the current Double Tap, we’ll be discussing it more in-depth once we put the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to the test with a full review in the coming weeks.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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