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Double Tap adds customizable gesture control to the new Apple Watch

It requires the S9 SIP in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

Apple

During its annual fall event on Tuesday, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and in addition to fresh hardware, they introduce a gesture that the company believes will change how you use your wearable. Double Tap lets you control various system functions by tapping your thumb and index finger together twice in quick succession — no need to touch the display or free up your other hand.

The company gave several examples of the feature in action. You can use Double Tap to answer or end calls, snooze alarms, play / pause music or start and stop timers. Apple COO Jeff Williams said it’s especially useful for times when your other hand isn’t free, like when walking a dog or carrying groceries. Williams added that you can use Double Tap to call up the Smart Stack, watchOS 10’s new scrollable series of widgets you can also reach by twisting the Digital Crown from your watch face.

Apple says Double Tap requires the faster Neural Engine S9 SIP, so older models will be left out. The company says 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.”

The S9 will be found in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and the company says the feature will arrive in a software update next month. In the meantime, be sure to ready some early impressions of both watches from Engadget's Deputy Reviews Editor, Cherlynn Low, who was in Cupertino covering Tuesday's event.

Follow all of the news live from Apple's 'Wonderlust' event right here.