watchOS 10.1: Double Tap, NameDrop, and everything else that's new

Apple watch SE, Series 9, Ultra 2
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Apple's watchOS 10 release arrived in September and it's been a big change for a lot of people, and not just those picking up a new Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2, either. But while everyone continues to get used to what Apple changed in watchOS 10, it's released a new watchOS 10.1 update as well.

This new update comes a few weeks after that watchOS 10 release and it brings with it a handful of improvements including some features that were announced at WWDC back in June. The update is worth installing for those alone, although you'll need the best Apple Watches for one of them.

We're going to run down what's new so you can get a feel for what you're looking for once you install watchOS 10.

The Double Tap gesture

Apple Watch Series 9, Double Tap feature

(Image credit: Apple)

Announced during the unveiling of the 2023 Apple Watches. Double Tap allows some watch interactions to be carried out just by double tapping two fingers. It only works with some apps, but it's a huge improvement for those who often find their hands are full when they need to answer a call, for example.

Besides answering a call, users can also play and pause music, stop a timer, and more. But you'll need an Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra to make use of this new feature, unfortunately.


An iPhone 15 and an Apple Watch Series 9 exchanging contact information using the NameDrop feature.

(Image credit: Apple)

A feature announced at WWDC, NameDrop allows you to change contact information with someone's iPhone or Apple Watch just by bringing the two together. It's like AirDrop but for contacts, and it's sure to be a huge deal for people who need to exchange contact information with people on the daily. For everyone else, it'll be a feature that comes in handy once in a while but we'll be pleased that it's there the one time a year we use it.

Everything else of note

In terms of big new features, NameDrop and Double Tap are about it, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other changes worth noting. The watchOS 10.1 update brings with it a few bug fixes as well as one new complication.

  • A NameDrop complication — Now Apple Watch users can add a NameDrop complication to their watch face.
  • Numerous bug fixes — Apple says that watchOS 10.1 fixes a number of bugs including one that prevented the Weather complication from working properly. Other bugs include some that affected Weather options from not syncing properly as well as one that affected the Assistive Touch accessibility feature by adding a white selection border to items.
  • Security fixes — Apple has also outlined a series of important watchOS 10.1 security fixes with more information available on its website.

This watchOS 10.1 update obviously isn't as big or important as the watchOS 10 release, but that wasn't expected to be the case. However, the additions of NameDrop and Double Tap are big ones especially if you're using the latest Apple Watches.

The security and bug fixes shouldn't be overlooked, either. Sometimes they can be more important than new features, especially if you've been dealing with one of those bugs that Apple has squashed with this release.

The watchOS 10.1 isn't the only one Apple released, either. There are the iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, macOS 14.1, and tvOS 17.1 updates as well and we'd suggest downloading them all.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.