Keep track of the time: have Apple Watch silently tap your wrist on the hour or half hour

Apple Watch Taptic Chimes

watchOS 6 debuted a new Taptic Chimes feature that takes advantage of Apple’s custom vibrator, called Taptic Engine, to render quick vibrations on your wrist at the top of the hour to help you keep track of the time in a subtle manner, without having to engage the device.

Taptic Chimes are taptic alerts you feel on the wrist on the hour, similar to those handy standalone reminders issued every 50 minutes to remind you to move around for a bit.

Aside from providing a silent taptic touch on your wrist at every hour, you can also hear a quick chime in form of the sound of a robin chirping, provided you have sound turned on.

Be advised that Taptic Chimes feature requires Apple Watch Series 3 or newer.

The Apple Watch Taptic Chimes feature was demonstrated on stage by Kevin Lynch, Apple’s Vice President of Technology, during the June 3 keynote address that kicked off the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which took place June 3 -7 in San Jose, California.

Would you like to hear the tweeting of a bird every hour? How about a subtle vibration on your wrist at the top of the hour? Every 30 minutes, you say?

Follow along with iDB to learn how to set up and use Apple Watch taptic chimes.

How to use Apple Watch taptic chimes

To set up the Apple Watch taptic chimes feature, do the following:

1) Open the Settings app.

2) Choose Sounds and Haptics from the main list.

3) Slide the switch next to Taptic Chimes to the ON position, then choose a schedule:

  • On the hour: Taptic Chimes will ring in the new hour.
  • On the half hour: Taptic alerts will kick in every 30 minutes.

Going forward, Apple Watch will tap a short pattern on your wrist using its Taptic Engine according to your selected schedule, which helps you keep track of the time without engaging the device. As mentioned earlier, you will also hear an audible chime if sound is turned on.

Taptic Chimes is a great feature addition in watchOS 6, especially when multitasking because you don’t have to glance at your wrist to tell when another hour has passed.

And if you optionally enable the new option labeled with the text Speak Time, you’ll be able to hold two fingers on your current watch face to prompt your Apple Watch to tell you the time out loud. This is similar to the Tap to Speak Time setting in the previous watchOS software, which was limited to the Mickey and Minnie Mouse watch faces so it got removed in watchOS 6

And last but not least, the watchOS 6 update provides a somewhat related feature in Settings, called Haptic Time, which will prompt your watch to give you a haptic version of the current time on your wrist using Morse code to distinguish hours and minutes.

watchOS 6 compatibility

Like watchOS 5, the watchOS 6 update is compatible with all Appel Watch models with the exception of the original model (Series 0). watchOS 6 runs fine on Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4 watches but some features may require newer hardware.

watchOS Taptic Chimes

To learn more, read Apple’s press release or visit

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