Double Tap Gesture (Series 9) Doesn’t Work with Family Setup

My daughter saved up her own money and asked for Apple gift cards for her birthday to buy herself an Apple Watch. She was very excited about the double tap feature (initially, it didn’t work because WatchOS 10.1 had not come out yet). She knew double tap was going to be in 10.1 and checked every day to see if the update was out. After we installed 10.1, the double tap feature still did not work. Why? I don’t know, but I found this article # If double tap isn’t working on your Apple Watch which states:

Make sure that your watch isn’t paired as a Family Setup watch.

… without further explanation as to why these are incompatible.

Does anyone have a guess as to why would Apple disable the flagship feature of the Series 9 for seemingly no reason?! Double tap and Family Setup have nothing to do with one another. This is infuriating and disappointing. I feel ripped off. We paid more to go for the Series 9, mostly for this feature.

Would you bet on Apple planning on fixing this in a future software release? Or should I go get my $ back and buy a Series 8?

Thanks MPU!

I can see why you’re upset — it seems like there is no reason why the double-tap is not available with Family Setup. FWIW, there are several features that are not available even though the hardware supports it. Here’s a good overview:

(But note that that article doesn’t explain why.)

Perhaps Apple doesn’t want to roll out this feature too quickly because it wants to gather more data on how well it works. Or perhaps Apple has decided that leaving this this feature out is another point of distinction between normal Apple Watch setup and Family Setup.

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@margaretamartin Thanks for linking this article. While it does not mention double-tap specifically (probably because it’s newer than the article), I am shocked at the amount of things that are disabled on a watch with family setup. Honestly - if you are going to use family setup, you should only buy an SE - there is no benefit to buying the latest flagship model.

Here’s the list from the article of things that WON’T WORK with family setup:

  • Cannot measure or track respiratory rate.
  • Family Setup Watch won’t receive irregular heart rhythm notifications.
  • Cannot be used to record ECG.
  • Sleep and cycle tracking aren’t available on Family Setup Apple Watch.
  • The watch cannot be used to check Wrist Temperature and Blood Oxygen.
  • The Medications app won’t be accessible on the Watch.
  • Apple Pay cannot be used with a credit or debit card with Family Setup.
  • Apple Watch with Family Setup doesn’t support Audiobooks, Remote, News, Home, and Shortcuts apps.

That’s a big list of pretty significant features.

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Which cellular plan are you using for your Apple family setup? On research, have heard good reviews about Better roaming. Let me know.