Overshadowed by ‘Double Tap’: 5 underrated Apple Watch Series 9 features

Apple’s new double tap feature on the Apple Watch Series 9 is awesome. But it’s getting a little bit too much of the spotlight.

Yes, it’s awesome that you can use the new Apple Watch without actually touching it by tapping your fingers together. But did you know the new watches also have better processing power, more useful Siri, and a less destructive environmental footprint?

If not, it’s time to learn. Here are some underrated new features on the Apple Watch Series 9.

1. The new S9 processor

The first of these underrated additions we’ll discuss is the simplest: Apple gave the new watches a new S9 processor. That means they will be faster and, hopefully, have better battery life. It’s hard to say just how much of an improvement it is without actually trying the device, but we’ll never say no to a performance boost.

2. Siri is finally untethered

Another feature the new processor enables is on-device Siri functionality. Previously, you needed to (wirelessly) tether your Apple Watch to an iPhone in order to use Siri, as all of the Siri processing was done on the iPhone and relayed to the watch. Now, you can use Siri on Apple Watch without needing a phone nearby. On top of that, speech dictation is apparently better, too.

3. Better ultra-wideband

Apple updated the ultra-wideband chip in the Apple Watch Series 9, which will surely be a boon to people who love to lose things. If you’re not aware, the ultra-wideband chip allows the watch to locate and track other devices nearby. It should be a little more precise than the Find My functionality in previous Apple Watches, but again, it’s hard to say just how much better it is without extended hands-on time.

4. Goodbye, leather

Fun fact: The Apple Watch Series 9 is Apple’s first carbon-neutral device. The aluminum case is made of recycled materials, the devices are manufactured with clean electricity, and perhaps most interestingly, none of its accessories will be made of leather. It’s the first device in a broader Apple initiative to ditch leather entirely, in favor of a new suede-like material called “FineWoven.” Silly name, but it’s for a good cause.

5. Ultra detailed watch face

Exclusively on the new Apple Watch Ultra 2, there’s a new watch face that takes advantage of that particular device’s bigger display. This watch face is incredibly detailed and thorough, showing things like altitude, depth, temperature, and directional heading. The display also has a peak brightness of 3,000 nits, meaning you can see it even in bright sunlight. If you’re a legit adventurer, this stuff is probably great.

6. (Bonus) The most important feature of all…

The Apple Watch Series 9 tells time. You know, the thing watches are meant to do? All those other features are great, but let’s not forget the most underrated feature of all.

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