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    The Apple Watch’s Double Tap Gesture Points At a New Way To Use Wearables (theverge.com)

    Apple has introduced a completely new way to interact with the Apple Watch without ever needing to use the touchscreen. It’s called Double Tap and it arrives today via the watchOS 10.1 update. The Verge reports:

    With a quick pinching motion, you can use it to scroll through the new smart stack of widgets in watchOS 10, pause or end timers, skip music tracks, and answer phone calls. It’s the sort of feature that you might read about and scoff at — until you’re unloading groceries from your car, hands full, and an important call comes through on your watch. […] Double tap technically isn’t a new gesture so much. In 2021, Apple introduced Assistive Touch, an accessibility feature designed for people with limb differences or mobility issues. The idea was to give these folks a way to navigate through menus and control the Apple Watch without needing a second hand.

    On the surface, it can seem like double tap is a rebadged version of Assistive Touch. That’s led to understandable confusion as to how the two features differ — and why double tap isn’t available on older Apple Watches that support Assistive Touch (Series 4 or later, including the first-gen SE and Ultra). The short answer is that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 have a more powerful chip. Specifically, the new S9 features four neural engines for machine learning, which is what powers double tap. On older watches, Assistive Touch was run on the main CPU.

    But practically speaking, it’s easier to see how Assistive Touch and double tap differ once you try using both. […] Double tap isn’t designed to help you navigate anything. The best way I can describe it is Assistive Touch is like the mouse to your computer. It scrolls, it selects, and it’s highly programmable. Double tap is more like the double-click portion of using a mouse. You use it solely to perform the main action of an app. And to do that, Apple had to spend a lot of time researching what people wanted or expected a single double tap to do. […] And, when double tap performs as intended, it does feel a bit like the watch can read my mind. It’s genuinely cool to see double tap work with not just my index finger but the rest of them as well. To my surprise, it feels less gimmicky than I expected. But despite Apple’s efforts, it doesn’t take long to run into double tap’s limitations…

    Originally Posted at https://slashdot.org/