Why You’re About To See Everyone Silently Tapping Their Fingers Together

A secret power enabled by a supersonic piece of tech.

Have you ever been people watching in a café, on the train, or even grabbing a drink with a friend, only to catch them silently tapping their fingers together? The question rises, what on earth are they doing trying to tap their index and thumb fingers in a precise motion?

Well, welcome to the new cultural phenomenon from Apple, where your literal limbs become an extension of technology, and a way to control the functions on your watch (Series 9 or Ultra 2), subtly and silently.

Think of it like the early days of AirPods, where people would be walking around seemingly talking to themselves, only to notice the little white buds perched in the ear behind a curtain of hair.

It took some getting used to, but now those little buds are a built-in part of many Australians’ way of life.

It’s the same kind of cultural adjustment for what Apple is calling ‘Double Tap’. For those who are thinking – did I just go back to the future? Yes, we think you did.

Image: Apple

Despite the new-age feeling to this feature, having tried it ourselves, it’s clear that Double Tap is one of the most seamless and useful features in the Apple team’s arsenal.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Double Tap On Apple Watch?

Double Tap is a new feature on Apple Watch that uses the sensors in the watch to tell when you tap your index finger and thumb together twice in quick succession.

The movement is designed to be used when your other hand is occupied – maybe holding a coffee, holding a dog leash, or chefing up a storm.

It’s a new gesture, that will allow you to access a whole bunch of functionality without even having to look at the watch.

What Can You Do With Double Tap On Apple Watch?

This futuristic technology will allow you to achieve a whole lot – from stopping that god awful five AM alarm to pausing your music while you order a coffee.

Some examples include:

  • Answering and ending phone calls
  • Playing and pausing music, podcasts and audiobooks
  • Snoozing an alarm
  • Pausing, resuming and ending a timer
  • Stopping and resuming a stopwatch
  • Taking an iPhone photo with the Camera Remote in the Camera app
  • Opening the Smart Stack menu and scrolling through the widgets
  • Viewing a message and scrolling through longer notifications
  • Starting or stopping Workout reminders
  • Performing the primary actions of most notifications: such as replying to a text message, snoozing a reminder and more.

The feature is also available on the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

How Does The Double Tap On Apple Watch Work?

This mind-boggling feature, which will have you tip-tapping your fingers day and night, is powered by a new chip, the S9 SiP, which offers 25 per cent more power, alongside a new ‘neural engine’, with machine learning that is twice as fast.

It uses complicated mechanisms (accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm) to detect signature movements in the tiny bones in your wrist, along with changes to the the blood flow that occur when the index finger and thumb tap together.

It will work anytime the display is awake and has minimal impact on the 36-hour battery life.

What Is Double Tap Actually Like?

Heading into an Apple ‘play’ session, to get hands on with all the technology, it’s safe to say that the double tap felt like a magic trick.

With a flick of the fingers I was scrolling through all the appointments I had on that day, turning off the ‘get to the bus’ alarm I set, and snapping photos with my friends with the phone metres away.

While I found getting the movement right a bit of a process, once you get the tapping timing right you’re away, and life is just that little bit easier.

That’s the thing with new features like this. You may have never thought you needed it, or even thought to ask for it, but once you get used to using it on the daily, you’ll never want to go back.

What Else Can You Do On The New Apple Watch Series 9?

It will help you pinpoint your lost phone. Image: Apple

While you’re here, you may as well find out what soon-to-be-indispensible actions you’ll be able to carry out on the new watch, such as:

  • On Watch Siri: which allows you to use Siri when you’re not connected to the internet for tasks that don’t require internet – like setting a timer.
  • Precision Finding: if you already love the ‘find phone ping’ feature of Apple Watches, you’ll love this. The S9 has a new precision finding feature which provides distance and direction prompts as well as visual, haptic and audio guidance to find your lost phone.
  • Daylight Sensors: You can now measure the time spent in daylight using the ambient light sensors, which can help to understand your circadian rhythms.

How To Style Your Apple Watch?

The new pink colourway. Image: Apple

The good news is that Apple has extended its colour ways this year for the new S9 and Ultra 2 watches.

The aluminium cases offer a new ‘pink’ colour way, which is a beautiful blush colour perfect for the pink revival we’ve seen from the Barbie movie and upcoming Mean Girls: The Musical film. It also comes in the classic gold tone ‘Starlight’, black hue ‘Midnight’, red hue ‘(PRODUCT)RED’ and, of course, ‘Silver’.

It also still offers stainless steel finishes in ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, and ‘Graphite’.

The FineWoven strap, pictured with magnetic clasp. Image: Apple

Apple also has new band options such as the ‘FineWoven’ suede-like finish, and has stopped using  leather in any new Apple product, including watch bands.

We’d be remiss not to mention the new collection of Hermès bands, two new woven bands and two new styles: ‘Braidon’ a hand-braided chevron pattern, and ‘Kilim’, made of a waterproof moulded rubber in Hermès orange.

The ‘Braidon’. Image: Apple
The ‘Kilim’. Image: Apple

They both, of course, come with the Hermès Radial watch face, the ultimate in luxurious watch technology.

Apple Watch Series 9 starts at RRP A$649.

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