Apple just rolled out the first major update to the latest cohort of its wearables, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, in the form of the watchOS 10.1 update. The latest free software update introduces bug fixes and improvements and, most importantly, finally enables the Double Tap feature on compatible Apple Watches.
With the new Double Tap gesture, you can control your watch using just one hand and without touching the display. To do so, tap the index finger and thumb of your watch hand together twice to quickly perform many of the most common actions. This new feature complements existing gestures like tap, swipe, raise to wake and cover to mute.
The new Double Tap gesture is only available on two Apple Watches, the Series 9 and Ultra 2, both powered by the S9 SiP. The new chip features a 4-core Neural Engine, allowing the smartwatch to perform machine learning tasks twice as fast as previous generation Apple Watches.
The Neural Engine processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine-learning algorithm. 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.
Other new features introduced by the watchOS 10.1 update include NameDrop, which allows you to exchange contact information with someone new by simply bringing your Apple Watch near their iPhone with iOS 17 or Apple Watch (available on Apple Watch SE 2, Apple Watch Series 7 and later, and Apple Watch Ultra).
Furthermore, My Card is now available as a complication for quick access to NameDrop.
Improvements include a fix for a bug that causes the climate section in the Home app to be blank and an issue where cities may not sync between iPhone and watch in Weather.
watchOS 10.1 also addresses an issue that causes a white selection border to be unexpectedly displayed after turning off AssistiveTouch and resolves the issue where the scroll bar may unexpectedly be visible on the display.
watchOS 10.1 is available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later starting 25 October 2023, and requires iPhone XS or later running iOS 17. The double tap gesture is enabled by default on Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 running watchOS 10.1, with no additional setup required. It can be turned off in settings.
The Double Tap feature is not supported in the following apps and experiences: ECG, Heart Rate, Blood Oxygen, Sleep Focus, Walkie-Talkie, Maps (during navigation), Mindfulness (during an active session), SOS features (Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, Crash Detection), and Workout (during an active session).