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What Is Taptic Time on Apple Watch?

Apple Watch

One of the reasons the Apple Watch is loved by many is because of its numerous features. For example, like every other watch, the Apple Watch can tell the time at its core function. However, Apple took time to take it a notch higher by introducing features such as the Taptic Time and VoiceOver. Although, the VoiceOver feature is pretty obvious that the Apple Watch announces the time. But what is the Taptic time on Apple Watch? 

Quick Answer

The Taptic Time tells the time by giving haptic feedback or vibration. It is a feature geared toward people who are visually impaired. The Taptic Time uses a distinct vibration pattern to know the time. Once enabled, to activate it, double-tap your screen to feel the hours and minutes, or triple-tap to feel only the minutes. 

If you are familiar with the app TimeBuzz, then the working principle of Taptic Time will seem somewhat familiar. Hence, so long your Apple Watch features a vibratory motor, it will support this innovative way to tell the time. Keep reading to learn more about the Taptic Time on Apple Watch. 

How To Enable Taptic Time on Apple Watch

The Taptic Time on Apple Watches is a relatively underused and useful feature. If you are visually impaired or looking for new ways to flex your watch when you want to check the time, then Taptic Time is the way to go. However, this feature of the Apple Watch does not come enabled. And if you have the Apple Watch set always to speak the time, the Taptic Time will be disabled. There are two ways to enable Taptic Time on your Apple Watch. 

Method #1: Using the Apple Watch 

One way to enable Taptic Time on an Apple Watch is by using the Digital Crown on the watch. This method is pretty straightforward, and since it does not require anything other than the Apple Watch, it works well without bugs. 

Here’s how to enable Taptic Time with Apple Watch.

  1. Press the side button to wake the Apple Watch and then press the Digital Crown to see the Watch app
  2. Navigate to “Settings” and click on it. 
  3. Use the Digital Crown to scroll down and click on the “Clock” option. 
  4. In the “Clock” section, tap on “Taptic Time” and toggle the switch on
  5. Choose a setting – “Morse”, “Terse”, or “Digital” and then go back. 

Method #2: Using the Watch app 

Another way to enable Taptic Time on your Apple Watch is with the Watch App on your iPhone or iPad. For this method to work, you must link the Apple Watch with your iPhone or iPad

Here’s how to enable Taptic Time with the Watch app.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, launch the Watch app
  2. Ensure you are at the “My Watch” tab, then click “Clock”
  3. Tap on “Taptic Time”, toggle the switch on, select “Morse”, “Terse”, or “Digital” settings, and then go back. 
Quick Tip

If you cannot access the Taptic Time, ensure you have haptic feedback enabled and disable speak time.

Understanding Taptic Time Patterns 

When setting the Taptic Time on your Apple Watch, you have three options for patterns. These patterns relate to how the watch will vibrate when it tells the time. Below, we elaborate on how these Taptic Time patterns work. 

Taptic Time #1: Morse Code 

The morse code pattern is ideal for you if you are familiar with how morse code works. Your watch will vibrate; tap out each digit of the current time in morse code. If you are unfamiliar with morse code, then be prepared to learn it if you want to use this option. 

Taptic Time #2: Terse 

The terse is another type of coding system the Taptic feature uses to tell the time, whereas it uses long and short taps to tell the time. Your watch will long tap every five hours, use short taps for the remaining hours, and long taps again every quarter of an hour. To keep up with this time pattern, you must have been told the time and follow each tap accompanied by addition and subtraction. 

Taptic Time #3: Digit 

Finally, the digits tap pattern is similar to the terse pattern as it uses long and short taps but has much different timing. With this pattern, your Apple Watch will long tap every 10 hours and then short tap for subsequent hours. It will also do a long tap every 10 minutes and a short tap for the next few minutes. 


Overall, using the Taptic Time system is an excellent way to tell the time on your Apple Watch without always looking at your watch screen. It might seem a little bit overwhelming initially, as it requires you to learn haptic coding. For example, if you are unfamiliar with morse code, using Taptic Time is an excellent way to learn it and other coding patterns. 

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