How to get 'Double Tap' on an old Apple Watch

Apple Watch Accessibility

The latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 have introduced feature called Double Tap, greatly improving one-handed usability. This convenient gesture empowers users to effortlessly answer calls, snap photos, navigate widgets, and execute various functions without fumbling for the Apple Watch screen or Digital Crown. Apple plans to roll out Double Tap with a forthcoming software update scheduled for October.

For owners of an older Apple Watch, you don't have to feel left out. The accessibility version, known as Double Pinch, offers similar functionality even on previous models, stretching back to the Apple Watch Series 4. Apple's AssistiveTouch, the technology that allows users to control Apple Watch using hand gestures, has been a vital accessibility feature since its debut in WatchOS 8.

How to activate hand gesture control on Apple Watch

To enter the world of hand gesture control, ensure you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, Apple Watch SE, or Apple Watch Ultra, all running the latest WatchOS version. Follow these steps to unlock the potential of AssistiveTouch:

  1. Navigate to Settings -> Accessibility on Apple Watch
  2. Tap AssistiveTouch
  3. Toggle Hand Gestures -> ON (green switch)

Once enabled with the steps above, Apple Watch is ready to use with hand gestures. AssistiveTouch recognizes four distinct hand gestures:

  • Pinch: Perform a pinch gesture to initiate actions
  • Double Pinch: Double-pinch for additional functionality
  • Clench: Activate features with a clenched hand
  • Double Clench: Double clench to access even more options