These Gestures Are How You Control Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro, Apple's new "spatial computing" device, does not have a hardware-based control mechanism. It relies on eye tracking and hand gestures to allow users to manipulate objects in the virtual space in front of them. In a recent developer session, Apple designers outlined the specific gestures that can be used with Vision Pro, and how some of the interactions will work.

apple vision pro gestures

  • Tap - Tapping the thumb and the index finger together signals to the headset that you want to tap on a virtual element on the display that you're looking at. Users have also described this as a pinch, and it is the equivalent to tapping on the screen of an iPhone.
  • Double Tap - Tapping twice initiates a double tap gesture.
  • Pinch and Hold - A pinch and a hold is similar to a tap and hold gesture, and it does things like highlighting text.
  • Pinch and Drag - Pinching and dragging can be used to scroll and to move windows around. You can scroll horizontally or vertically, and if you move your hand faster, you'll be able to scroll faster.
  • Zoom - Zoom is one of two main two-handed gestures. You can pinch your fingers together and pull your hands apart to zoom in, and presumably zooming out will have a pushing sort of motion. Window sizes can also be adjusted by dragging at the corners.
  • Rotate - Rotate is the other two-handed gesture and based on Apple's chart, it will involve pinching the fingers together and rotating the hands to manipulate virtual objects.

Gestures will work in tandem with eye movements, and the many cameras in the Vision Pro will track where you are looking with great accuracy. Eye position will be a key factor in targeting what you want to interact with using hand gestures. As an example, looking at an app icon or on-screen element targets it and highlights it, and then you can follow up with a gesture.

Hand gestures do not need to be grand, and you can keep your hands in your lap. Apple is encouraging that, in fact, because it will keep your hands and arms from getting tired from being held in the air. You only need a tiny pinch gesture for the equivalent of a tap, because the cameras can track precise movements.

@macrumors Eye tracking and pinching is the interface on the new #AppleVisionPro and we could to try jt out! #Apple #VR #AR ♬ original sound - MacRumors

What you're looking at will let you select and manipulate objects that are both close to you and far from you, and Apple does anticipate scenarios where you might want to use larger gestures to control objects that are right in front of you. You can reach out and use your fingertips to interact with an object. For example, if you have a Safari window right in front of you, you can reach your hand out and scroll from there rather than using your fingers in your lap.

In addition to gestures, the headset will support hand movements such as air typing, though it doesn't seem like those who have received a demo have been able to try this feature as of yet. Gestures will work together, of course, and to do something like create a drawing, you'll look at a spot on the canvas, select a brush with your hand, and use a gesture in the air to draw. If you look elsewhere, you'll be able to move the cursor immediately to where you're looking.

While these are the six main system gestures that Apple has described, developers can create custom gestures for their apps that will perform other actions. Developers will need to make sure custom gestures are distinct from the system gestures or common hand movements that people might use, and that the gestures can be repeated frequently without hand strain.

To supplement hand and eye gestures, Bluetooth keyboards, trackpads, mice, and game controllers can be connected to the headset, and there are also voice-based search and dictation tools.

Multiple people who have been able to try the Vision Pro have had the same word to describe the control system - intuitive. Apple's designers seem to have created it to work similarly to multitouch gestures on the ‌iPhone‌ and the iPad, and so far, reactions have been positive.

MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera was able to try out the headset and he was impressed with the controls. You can see his full overview of his experience on our YouTube channel.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Top Rated Comments

MacWiz_007 Avatar
11 months ago
They forgot the "flipping the bird" gesture when your battery dies in less than two hours. ?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
11 months ago
This will be the hand gesture after you ask Siri to do something simple for the 8th time and you are hoping THIS TIME is actually gets it right ;)

Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
11 months ago
They forgot Force Quit and responding to Siri when she asks for clarification:



Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
11 months ago
We need a hand clap ?? gesture.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Love-hate ? relationship Avatar
11 months ago
that's seriously amazing. Im wayyyy to broke to afford it, and in all fairness it's not something meant for everyone i feel , but in spite of what reports claimed (that it wasnt ready) , the software appears to work really well and super intuintively (gosh i cannot write )
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacWiz_007 Avatar
11 months ago

What about pinch to zoom?
Did you not see the one where it looks like you are pinching someone's nipples to zoom?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...
m3 mbp space black

M4 Macs Are Expected to Launch in This Order Starting Later This Year

Sunday April 14, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported that the first Macs with M4 series chips will be released later this year, with more models to follow next year. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman shared a more specific roadmap for these Macs. Here is the order in which Gurman expects the Macs to launch:1. A low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M4, coming around the end of 2024. 2. A 24-inch ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...