Apple Watch Series 9 adds double tap gesture and it's mind-blowing

And we thought the new Apple Watch Series 9 wasn't going to blow our minds!

Apple Watch Series 9
(Image credit: Apple)

You are probably overwhelmed by all the new Apple Watch Series 9 news, which might come as a surprise after months of rumours around Apple's new wearable not being anything to write home about. But on top of some seriously impressive hardware updates, what got my motor running the most was the announcement of the new double-tap feature.

No, this isn't the double tap as you know it. The new double-tap interaction (available from next month) allows you to interact with your Apple Watch without actually touching the wearable, for example, when you're out walking the dog or holding a coffee in one hand. To activate the double tap, you have to tap your thing and index finger together on the same arm you have the watch on.

This new interaction controls the primary button function, allowing you to answer calls, scroll and more with just one hand. Magic! The double tap gesture is enabled by the faster Neural Engine in Apple Watch Series 9, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm.

Apple claims the algorithm detects the unique signature of tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap. The double-tap gesture will be available in a software update next month.

Just think about it. The Apple Watch Series 9 is capable of picking up such fine movements as you essentially rub your two fingers together. Who knows what other double-tap features will we see in the future? Read more about the new Apple Watch Series 9 here. Follow our Apple Event 2023 live blog here. 

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.