Apple is set to reshape the way users engage with their Apple Watch through the introduction of the new Apple Watch Double Tap feature. This innovative addition, unveiled at the ‘Wonderlust’ event held at the Apple Park campus, allows for hands-free control with a simple double tap of the index finger and thumb.
This intuitive gesture takes on a central role within applications, enabling users to seamlessly capture photos, manage music playback in Apple Music, silence alarms, handle phone calls, and perform a host of other functions. Additionally, it serves as the gateway to launching Smart Stack and effortlessly navigating through widgets.
How good is the new Apple Watch Double Tap feature?
What sets the Double Tap apart is its ability to discern unique movement patterns and detect changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb come together. This data is then processed by the neural engine, which leverages an array of sensors including the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor.
Anticipation is high as this game-changing feature is slated for release next month as part of a comprehensive software update for both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. These models are equipped with Apple’s cutting-edge U2 ultra-wideband chip, promising precision location tracking and seamless integration with the HomePod.
For those eyeing these new additions, the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399, while the Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes in at $799. Pre-orders are open starting today, with the official launch set for Sept. 22.
Is it really revolutionary?
While the Double Tap feature has garnered significant attention for its innovation, some accessibility advocates and users with disabilities have highlighted that it builds upon an existing feature – Apple’s AssistiveTouch. Initially introduced in 2011 for iPhones and extended to Apple Watches in 2021, this tool empowers users with customizable, floating screen buttons and hand gestures to navigate their devices. This invaluable tool supports individuals with disabilities, those facing mobility challenges, and even those with damaged screens.
“‘Double Pinch’ has been available as an accessibility feature on Apple Watch Series 4 and later since a long time,” user @marvinvonhagen pointed out. This keen observation underscores the striking resemblance between the familiar ‘Double Pinch’ and the innovative ‘Double Tap’, now deeply integrated into the OS for Series 9 and beyond.
With the the new Apple Watch Double Tap feature, Apple ensures that technology not only advances, but does so with the goal of making it accessible and beneficial for all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.
The new Apple Watch Double Tap feature, a double tap of the index finger and thumb, serving as the primary button within applications, from answering calls to capturing photos, have diverse implications. This groundbreaking technology is set to debut next month through a software update for the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, promising a new era of seamless interaction.
By generalizing a widely-used tool like AssistiveTouch, they’re not only providing swifter access to assistive features but also normalizing nontraditional uses of technology, ultimately enhancing accessibility for all. This move reflects Apple’s dedication to making technology truly accessible and user-friendly for everyone.
Featured image credit: Apple