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watchOS 10.1 launches for Apple Watch users with NameDrop and double-tap gesture

Published Oct 25th, 2023 1:03PM EDT
watchOS 10.1 beta Double Tap gesture
Image: Apple Inc.

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watchOS 10.1 is now available with two long-awaited features for Apple Watch users: NameDrop and double-tap gesture for Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 owners. Here’s everything you need to know about this software update.

NameDrop from iPhone to Apple Watch lets you easily share your contact information from one iPhone to Apple Watch by approaching them. While this function is available for iPhone to iPhone with iOS 17, Apple says that nearing an iPhone to Apple Watch to perform the same action is possible with Apple Watch Series 6 and later, Apple Watch SE (1st and 2nd generation), and Apple Watch Ultra.

In addition, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will finally get an exclusive feature that Apple says requires the new S9 SiP.

With the double-tap gesture, users can easily control the Apple Watch Series 9 using just one hand and without touching the display by tapping the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice to quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on the Watch. The faster Neural Engine enables this new double tap gesture, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm.

Sharing contact information (NameDrop) via AirDrop between iPhone and Apple Watch.
Sharing contact information (NameDrop) via AirDrop between iPhone and Apple Watch. Image source: Apple Inc.

In addition, watchOS 10.1 finally fixes two annoying bugs Apple Watch users were experiencing. One of them was weather complications not working as intended; the other was the newer Watches displays becoming too dim in low-light conditions. With this update, none of these bugs occur anymore.

watchOS 10.1 release notes add:

  • My Card is available as a complication for quick access to NameDrop
  • Fix for bug that causes the climate section in the Home app to be blank
  • Addresses an issue that causes a white selection border to be unexpectedly displayed after turning off AssistiveTouch
  • Fixes an issue where cities may not sync between iPhone and Watch in Weather
  • Resolves an issue where the scroll bar may unexpectedly be visible on the display
  • Fix for bug that causes elevation to be incorrect for some users.

Since watchOS 10 is Apple’s most significant watchOS update in years, it’s usual that some features aren’t working as expected.

watchOS 10.1 device compatibility

watchOS 10.1 is compatible with these Apple Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 4 (2018)
  • Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)
  • Apple Watch SE (2020)
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (2020)
  • Apple Watch Series 7 (2021)
  • Apple Watch SE (2022)
  • Apple Watch Series 8 (2022)
  • Apple Watch Ultra (2022)
  • Apple Watch Series 9 (2023)
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 (2023)

In addition to watchOS 10.1, Apple is also seeding iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, tvOS 17.1, and macOS Sonoma 14.1 to all users.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.