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How to make the most of Apple Watch’s Double Tap feature

The Apple Watch is super easy to use, and with the new Double Tap gesture control on the Series 9 and Ultra 2, it’s more user-friendly than ever. Learning the feature is a breeze, and it comes in really handy when you need it.

Okay, before anyone starts getting frustrated, yeah, Apple’s current smartwatches already have some gesture controls tucked away in the Accessibility menu. But what sets Double Tap apart is that it’s built right into the regular user experience. Apple made sure that the Double Tap action is for everyday tasks that are crucial to using the device.

And here’s the cool part – Double Tap doesn’t need special settings or suck up extra battery life. It taps into the brainpower of Apple’s fresh S9 chip and quad-core neural engine, crunching data from the heart rate sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer in the device. It’s just one of those little improvements in the latest generation.

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Advantages of having the feature

Alright, let’s dive back into what Double Tap actually does. In a nutshell, it lets you do stuff on the watch with just one hand—like answering a call or pausing a timer. A Double Tap smoothly scrolls through Apple’s fresh Smart Stack, giving quick access to important stuff like calendar events or weather updates. And in a text chat, it kicks off voice dictation, making it a breeze to shoot a quick “on the way” message.

This feature comes in handy when you need to snooze a bunch of alarms without uncovering your other hand from beneath the pillow. It’s not foolproof, but hey, being lazy usually doesn’t work out anyway. Also, Double Tap lets you hit pause or play on your music without taking your hand off the elliptical. And if you’re into skipping content with a Double Tap, you can switch on that extra action in your settings menu.

But hey, let’s not get carried away—Double Tap isn’t the superhero of every one-handed situation. Truth be told, it’s kinda useless in most apps, although we’re crossing our fingers that Apple will beef up its capabilities. Some more customization wouldn’t hurt, especially right from the watch face, because not everyone is hooked on Smart Stacks. It’d be awesome to choose to open a favorite app or kick off a workout instead.

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How to use the new feature

Hold on a sec before you get all excited—Double Tap is exclusive to Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. Make sure your gadget is rocking the latest software. Oh, and heads up, Double Tap won’t play ball in Low Power Mode or during Sleep Focus.

  • Lift your device to wake it up.
  • Give your thumb and finger a double tap, and you’ll see the Double Tap icon pop up at the top of the screen.
  • If the gesture doesn’t trigger any action, the Double Tap icon will show up and give a little shake from side to side.
  • As I mentioned earlier, you can tweak Double Tap in two situations through the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Just go to Gestures > Double Tap and pick one of the following:
  1. Playback: Opt for Play/Pause or Skip.
  2. Smart Stack: Go for Advance or Select