iOS 17.4 Allows Video Calling Apps to Turn Off Hand Gesture Reactions to Prevent Awkward Moments

Starting with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, you can make hand gestures during video calls in the FaceTime app and other video conferencing apps to fill the screen with 3D effects. For example, you can hold two thumbs up to show fireworks on the screen, or make two peace signs with your hands to show confetti.

ios 17 facetime effects
Unfortunately, many users are unaware that this new feature is turned on by default, leading to some awkward and embarrassing moments during important video calls, such as online therapy sessions and business meetings.

Fortunately, Apple has come up with a solution.

Alongside iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, Apple is releasing a new API that allows video conferencing apps to turn off the gesture-based reactions by default in their apps, according to information obtained by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris. We have not yet confirmed if Apple has also made the API available for macOS 14.4.

iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, and macOS 14.4 are currently in beta, and the software updates are expected to be released in March.

Users can already easily turn off the feature on their own end on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

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Top Rated Comments

GMShadow Avatar
19 weeks ago
Makes sense, apps like Teams are supposed to only bring misery. Having a spot of joy would ruin that intended effect.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cjgrif Avatar
19 weeks ago
I would think giving two thumbs up or double peace signs to the camera would be more embarrassing in those situations than the actual effects being triggered unexpectedly.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
epox999 Avatar
19 weeks ago
one of the Top 10 stupidest features of all time, why would this ever be on by default
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
19 weeks ago
Apple has a pattern of introducing new features touting them as improvements, only to have to introduce new toggles to turn off those new features, and touting those toggles as improvements.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skyscraperfan Avatar
19 weeks ago
When I read about turning off hand gestures to avoid awkward moments, I had something totally different in mind. Like probably most men who read that.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zach-coleman Avatar
19 weeks ago
I think this should be a system toggle because every app is immediately going to turn them off. They're really not that easy to trigger.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)