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The New iOS 17.4 Update Can Disable Hand Reactions

Apple revealed to the public today that iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 come with a new developer API that allows users to choose to permanently turn off hand gesture reactions in third-party video-calling apps like Google Meet.

Developers may now modify the default functioning of Reactions in their apps using a new API for iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, and perhaps macOS 14.4, as we revealed earlier this month. The public is anticipated to receive the updates in March.

iOS 17.4

Developer Updates for iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17 from Apple

According to developer documentation, Developers can use the key […] to modify Reactions’ default behaviour. Applications can manage this, and user preference will take place over any defaults set by the program.

Zoom, a video conference software, may, for instance, utilize Apple’s new API to disable the Reactions feature by default in its app. It is already possible to disable hand motion reactions: To disable Reactions, open the option Center on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and choose the Video Effects option. The issue is that the control won’t even appear if you don’t do it while on the call.

This isn’t immediately clear, which causes many unintentional augmented reality reaction triggers in unsuitable circumstances. To address this, Apple intends to allow developers to by default deactivate hand motion reactions in their video-calling applications.



Coming with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, you may fill the screen with 3D effects during video chats using hand gestures like a thumbs-up in the FaceTime app and other video conferencing apps. Giving the thumbs up will cause animated augmented reality effects to appear, such as lasers or fireworks.
FaceTime and compatible third-party applications, such as Google Meet, support video reactions. Owing to their default activation and lack of knowledge about how to disable them, some people may unintentionally trigger goofy 3D animations during crucial business calls or online therapy sessions.

With this new API, Apple is enabling developers to manage Reactions per-app rather than disabling the capability globally.

Summary of Reactions Available In iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and iOS 17.4

  • Make the heart symbol with two hands to display red hearts.
  • Make a peace sign (victory symbol) to display balloons.
  • Hold up one thumb to display the thumbs up emoji.
  • Hold one thumb down to display the thumbs down emoji.
  • Hold down two thumbs to depict stormy rain.
  • Make two peace signs (victory signs) to display confetti.
  • Give the sign for fireworks (two thumbs up).
  • To display laser beams, form the horns 🤘 symbol with each hand.

An Example of Poor UI Design

The telehealth service SimplePractice had to include a disclaimer to its FAQ indicating that animated reactions are not a component of their platform due to the significant concern raised by this. It says, “These iOS settings are not under our control.”

To avoid uncomfortable situations such as causing virtual confetti during a healthcare video chat, companies such as SimplePractice should be able to deactivate AR responses in their applications using this suspected new API. The public will be able to get iOS 17.4 and other OS upgrades in March, as Apple is presently testing them.

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