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New Apple Watch ad features the double-tap gesture, an iPhone 15 Pro and a giant fish

When Apple released watchOS 10.1 last October, the update brought a new feature to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2: double-tap gestures. When you quickly tap your thumb twice with your index finger, the Apple Watch uses the S9 SIP (System In Package) to understand the gesture, which automatically selects the primary action for most apps and notifications.

There are two situations where the double-tap gesture has more than one function: In media playback, it can toggle between play and pause, or skip a track. In the Smart Stack, the gesture can be used to scroll through your widget stack or select the currently topmost widget. To set up your selections for these two items, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap Gestures.

One of the double-tap gestures lets you take an iPhone photo using the camera remote in the Camera app. And that's exactly what today's strange new ad, which will run for 30 seconds on TV, is all about. The spot begins with a burly man standing in his boat trying to capture a giant catfish. He simply wants to take a photo of himself holding the fish, and has placed his iPhone camera on a table pointing at where he is holding the fish.

The big question is, how can our fisherman take the photo when he's engaged with the fish and at a distance from the handset? Simple. Watch him stare at the Apple Watch on his wrist and perform perfect double-tap gestures to capture the images he wants with his iPhone 15 Pro. “Snap with one tap,” says the overlay at the end of the spot, “iPhone + Apple Watch.”

You'll be sure to see this ad this weekend when the Stanley Cup Final between my Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers hits the ice. And the NBA Finals continue, with the Boston Celtics leading the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in the best-of-seven game.

And that brings us to Monday's WWDC 2024 conference. The keynote begins at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT, and Apple is expected to give a sneak peek at its AI initiative.