Apple Watch Double Tap Feature Now Live with watchOS 10.1

Written by The Anand Market

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The highly anticipated Double Tap feature has made its debut on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, promising unparalleled convenience and accessibility for users. Apple’s innovative gesture is designed to address the challenge of operating a smartwatch when one’s hands are occupied with everyday tasks. Whether you’re juggling groceries, walking your dog, or using a flashlight, Double Tap offers a seamless and intuitive solution. Moreover, it caters to individuals with limited arm or hand mobility, making it an impressive accessibility feature.

Update to watchOS 10.1

Before you can unlock the potential of Double Tap, it’s imperative to ensure your Apple Watch is running on watchOS 10.1, the latest update rolled out by Apple on October 25. To get started, you must update your paired iPhone to at least iOS 17.1, which was released on the same day. This can be accomplished by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone.

Once your phone’s firmware is up-to-date, open the Apple Watch app on your paired device and proceed to General > Software Update. Click on “Install” and patiently await the completion of the update. It’s essential that your watch has a minimum charge of 50 percent and is placed on its charger during the installation process.

apple watch double tap feature now live with watchos 10.1
Apple Watch Double Tap Feature Now Live With Watchos 10.1 3

How to Customize Double Tap on Your Apple Watch

Although Apple may introduce further customization options in future updates, for now, Double Tap allows you to tweak its behavior concerning audio playback and the Smart Stack feature, introduced in watchOS 10. To personalize these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone.
  2. Go to Gestures > Double Tap.
  3. Choose from the available options:
  • For Playback, select between pinching your fingers to play/pause (default) or skip to the next track while listening to music or podcasts.
  • For Smart Stack, decide how Double Tap navigates through the pile of widgets. “Advance” moves to the next widget with each tap (default), while “Select” selects the first widget with a subsequent tap.
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Everything You Can Do with Double Tap on Apple Watch

Once you’ve enabled Double Tap, you’ll have a range of functionalities at your fingertips, including:

  • Audio playback control: Pause/resume or skip to the next track (depending on your settings).
  • Phone call management: Answer or hang up calls.
  • Notification actions: Initiate primary actions from any alert, including replying to messages or snoozing reminders (works with third-party apps too).
  • Smart Stack navigation: Scroll through widgets from any watch face.
  • Message viewing: Read entire messages when you receive a new text.
  • Message replies: Reply with voice dictation, and confirm sending with another Double Tap.
  • Handling longer notifications: Scroll through extended alerts that don’t fit entirely on your screen.
  • Alarm snoozing.
  • Stopwatch control: Stop or resume a stopwatch.
  • Timer management: Pause, resume, or end a timer.
  • Remote shutter for your iPhone’s camera.
  • Workout assistance: Start or stop automatic Workout reminders when your watch detects exercise activity.

When you use Double Tap, a blue hand icon appears at the top of your watch’s screen. If you attempt to Double Tap on an incompatible feature, the icon will shake as if to say, “No.”

How to Disable Double Tap on Apple Watch

For those who want to avoid accidental activation of Double Tap, it’s easy to disable the feature. Simply navigate to Settings > Gestures > Double Tap on your paired iPhone and select the option to turn it off. Should you change your mind, you can re-enable Double Tap through the same settings screen.

If you’re still unsure about the Apple Watch models that support Double Tap, you can read Engadget’s reviews of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 for in-depth impressions and insights.