Apple announces Apple Watch Series 9, and it has a handy double tap feature

Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 9 at its Wonderlust event on Tuesday.

One of the biggest changes is a new S9 SiP (System in Package). The CPU has 5.6 billion transistors, a GPU that’s 30 percent faster, and a four-core neural engine. That translates to improvements like Siri requests being processed on the device. The watch also has a second-generation ultra wideband chip for more precise finding. One other improvement is a brighter display: Apple says it can get as bright as 2000 nits, which is double the maximum you can get from the Series 8.

The Series 9 also offers a “double-tap” feature that lets you tap your index finger and thumb together to do things like answer a phone call. It’s kind of similar to the tapping feature that Apple demoed with the Apple Vision Pro. And Apple already offers something like it through AssistiveTouch. The double-tap is coming next month.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

The Apple Watch Series 9 will be available in aluminum in pink, starlight, silver, midnight, and product red, and the stainless steel versions will be available in gold, silver, and graphite.

The Series 9 follows last year’s Apple Watch Series 8, which was a largely iterative update that added temperature sensors and Crash Detection, and the Apple Watch Ultra, which is a more rugged smartwatch that has some bigger changes, like a larger screen and a separate Action Button.

The Series 9 will likely ship alongside watchOS 10, the company’s latest smartwatch operating system. watchOS 10 is a big revamp of the OS, with a focus on the widget stack that’s accessible by turning the digital crown and significantly updated versions of many core Apple Watch apps. It also has a Snoopy watchface, which my colleague Victoria Song loves.

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