2023 Apple Watch Models Add Double Tap Gesture

Originally published at: 2023 Apple Watch Models Add Double Tap Gesture - TidBITS

The new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 extend the wearable experience mostly through a double tap gesture that activates the primary button in an app. They also have brighter screens, on-device Siri, and Precision Finding for the iPhone 15.

Do we know what the difference is between Double Tap and the accessibility setting that already exists? I’ve seen a lot of people claiming this already exists (which there is an accessibility gestures setting) and is not new at all. But Apple says it won’t be available until next month, so clearly they think something is new.

I’ve tried the Assistive Touch accessibility setting before and it seems a bit different - that is a full clench and unclench of your fist to select, and it adds other features that this does not. The pinch gesture is move the selector to the next item - that does not exist with what Apple demonstrated yesterday.

I know that I tried it for a few days a few years ago but had to turn it off.

There’s a bit about it here How to use Assistive Touch on the Apple Watch - The Verge

A post was merged into an existing topic: Incremental iPhone 15 Improvements Focus on Photography and Connectivity

I actually think the new Double Tap gesture will be widely embraced! I see it becoming a Shortcut in no time!

My Series 5 is still working fine for me. The battery in my wife’s watch (I think it’s a Series 6) was not lasting through the day. It only cost $75 (or maybe $95—definitely under a hundred) to have Apple replace the battery. I looked it up on Apple’s website and saw that price. She brought it to an Apple Store and was told it would be about $350. So she brought it back home and we did it through the website.

I’m almost certainly going to upgrade from my Series 4 to Series 9. There are enough small things that appeal. The always-on display for one. And yes - definitely the new finger tap too, for cancelling timers.

But I’m slightly worried that will be vulnerable to false triggering. Sitting at my desk, I’ve frequently got music playing in the background and I frequently find myself drumming my fingers on the desk or sometimes off each other. Fingers crossed that their isolation algorithms work well.

Unless they’ve reserved that gesture for “Restart Watch”. :wink:

An interesting comment comparing this new gesture feature with the Assistive Touch feature that has been in the Watch for many years:

It will be interesting to see how the new gesture compares against the old ones, given that the new one requires a series 9 watch, and the old ones have been around for many generations of Watch.

I have a Series 5 that sometimes has to be charged twice to make it through the day. Apple will replace for $89. They would also give me a $90 credit on a trade-in for a Series 9. Trying to decide what to do…

I’m still on an Apple Watch series 2. I got a Series 1 for free from a friend when she upgraded to a 4. I kept the 1 under warranty and when it broke Apple replaced it with a 2. For $2.49/month I’ve kept it under warranty. Time to upgrade?


I have a series 7. No compelling reason to upgrade. Plenty of battery left-91%. When the battery dies, I’ll get a new one.

I will be upgrading my Series 5 to the Ultra 2, which I have in the plan since last year.

While my Series 5 works well, have had the battery replaced recently and is still in pristine condition (being a ceramic model), the Ultra 2 has a blood oxygen sensor, fast charging, much longer battery life and improved GPS accuracy. These are all useful features for my upcoming trek in Nepal: charging opportunities can be scarce at times, and I will spend over two weeks above 10,000ft (3,000m) in elevation. The GPS feature may be less useful, as I imagine the watch will be living underneath layers of clothing for much of the time.

I tried on the (original) Ultra in person and the size is very manageable, certainly smaller and lighter than the G-Shock Rangeman. The alpine loop can be a bit tricky to remove and put on, which is a consideration when going through airport security screening.

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The Ultra can use any Apple Watch band, so if you already have a favorite that works for you, you can just replace the band. I ordered my Ultra with the Alpine loop and kept using it, and after a year it looks a little bit worn. It can be a real pain to put on in the dark, since you can’t see any of the slots and they’re hard to detect by feel. I just tuck the clip in completely behind the band, and wait until I can see to put it on properly.

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