Episode 57: Technology Bytes. . .Double Tap

This is Technology Bites, episode 57 for April 7th, 2024.

Technology Bites is a microcast where I share brief bites on interesting technology.

My name is Joel.

Enjoy, and here we go.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to apologize or the fact that I only have some limited amount of technology in my life means that I may cover things more than once.

It’s because sometimes the relationship with technology changes or maybe software changes and what the technology does for us is different.

Once again, I find myself back on the Apple Watch.

I enjoy the Apple Watch I have since the first one that my wife bought me.

I only wear one watch, and that is the Apple Watch, and I wear it constantly.

I wear it to bed.

I wear it in the shower.

I wear it swimming.

I wear it exercising.

I wear it to work.

My wife makes fun of me because I have a number of different watch bands to match whatever I am wearing for the day, and that’s really not like me.

If you know me and knew that I actually even thought about that, you would be, ah, it’s not the Joel I remember.

But it is technology that I enjoy, and I use it every day, and I use it to almost its fullest extent, but probably not always.

One of the things that drives some people crazy about the Apple Watch is its verbosity.


I’m probably making up a new word, but it’s the amount of times that it taps your wrist, that it gives you notifications.

I always say that you have total control of that, so I don’t quite understand that complaint, because you can just turn it off and have it be silent.

I try to control my notifications, but my watch talks to me way too much probably, and I probably need to be looking at that.

One of the things, some time back in one of the iOS updates or point updates or whatever, Apple released what they called Double Tap for the Watch OS X, for the Ultra Watch 2, and for the Apple Watch Series 9.

And while I thought it was interesting and found it to be another, you know, maybe small breakthrough in how people interact with the watch, it never caught on with me.

I understand that it activates the default action that’s in the notification, but to me it just never seemed to register until this week.

So every day at work, and multiple times a day at work, I have to log in to a VPN to connect to our work services.

Why it disconnects, I’m not sure, but it has some kind of timeout feature, and so if I’m not on my computer or on my iPad at the right amount of time, or the time between when I’m on the services is too long, then the VPN disconnects and I have to re-log in.

And I do that multiple times a day.

I’ve asked our IT department if there’s anything that can be done about that.

There’s a couple of sites on the services that we use, because it’s all web-based services, where if you leave that site up, it refreshes enough to keep the VPN active.

But if you happen to visit another part of the service, another part of the tool that you need to get to, and it’s not refreshing, then you ignore your computer or iPad for a while, then you get disconnected.

And when you log back in, you have to do a verification, and we use a service called Duo Mobile.

It’s an app that you can verify on your phone, but in my case, because I also wear an Apple Watch, I can verify on my watch.

So I’ve been using this service for over two years, since I’ve been at this job.

And my watch has been telling me to answer a question, verify that it’s me, every time I have to log in to the VPN to connect to our services.

And every time I look at the watch, and it pulls up and says approve or deny, and I tap the approve button, and it does it.

On occasion, I have found that my finger taps the wrong button, and it’s a little bit frustrating, because then I’ve got to try it again and log in again.

But that doesn’t happen all that often, because I guess the approve button is the prominent button on the watch.

So still, multiple times a day, and I don’t know, might be five or six times a day, five days a week, for two years, I’ve been tapping my watch, approve, approve, approve.

Now, I don’t know what happened or what changed this week.

I run the beta software of iOS and watchOS and iPadOS, just because it’s kind of fun and seeing what’s coming up.

But this week, I logged into the VPN, I looked at my watch to tap the approve, and the little double tap icon showed at the top of the watch, like a reminder that said, hey, if you double tap, you can accept this notification without touching the watch.

And so the first time I saw it, it didn’t really register.

I tapped the approve button and then went on, and in the mornings, I log into all three of my devices.

I’ve got a MacBook Air, I’ve got my iMac on my desk, and my iPad.

And so the first time it showed me that little notification, kind of a reminder that I could use the double tap.

And so when I logged into the other two devices, I actually did it.

I looked at my watch, and when it came up, I double tapped, which is four finger and thumb together twice in rapid succession, and the action was approved.

And I thought, that’s really cool.

And so I showed it to someone at work.

I’m the only one that uses Apple devices, so it doesn’t really work for anybody else, but I still thought it was neat.

And then I promptly forgot about it for the rest of the day.

Then I realized that that’s silly, and I told my son about it, and he’s like, oh, that’s really cool that you can do that.

And then I showed someone else at work, and they said, oh, that’s pretty neat that you can do that.

And then I told my wife about it, and that’s when I decided to change my behavior.

And so for the balance of the week, for the last three days of the week, every time I’ve had to log in, I just double tap my finger, the action is approved, and it is so fast.

I don’t have to do any weird manipulation of devices, like if I have my iPad in my hand and balance it just correct, so I can tap the phone or tap the watch with my finger, and it works just about flawlessly.

So this week, the tech I’m using is double tap to answer watch notifications.

That is all I have for today.

If you have comments or suggestions, you can send them to technologybitesatmerickfamily.com.

Thank you always.

Sorry about that.

Thank you, as always, for listening to the Technology Bites microcast.

And I look forward to the next time we are together, taking another bite of technology.

Joel Mearig @technologybytes