How to Use Hand Gestures to Control Your Apple Watch

How to Use Hand Gestures to Control Your Apple Watch

Assistive Touch now features Quick Actions, which let you reply to Apple Watch alerts with hand gestures, as part of Apple's accessibility effort in watchOS 9. How to utilize them is covered in this article.

Assistive Touch, a new accessibility feature that Apple released with watchOS 8, enables users to operate their Apple Watch with gestures and arm movements. Apple has enhanced Assistive Touch technology with Quick Actions in watchOS 9.

With the addition of new Quick Actions, users with upper body limb differences can now do even more when responding to alerts on their Apple Watch, such as answer or end a phone call, take a picture when the viewfinder and shutter button are visible in the Camera app, play or pause media in the Now Playing app, and begin, pause, or resume a workout. To snooze an alarm or stop a timer, you can also act quickly.

In reality, anyone may benefit from Quick Actions. To answer or finish a phone conversation, for instance, while holding something in your other hand and unable to contact the Apple Watch screen, you can use the double-pinch gesture on your watch hand.

With watchOS 9, you can decide whether Quick Actions are always accessible, accessible only when AssistiveTouch is turned on, or not accessible at all. Additionally, you have the option to select minimal appearance or full appearance (a banner displays and the action button is highlighted) (the action button is highlighted with no banner).

How to Enable Quick Actions

To turn quick actions on or off, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Under "Motor," tap Quick Actions.
  4. Choose from one of the following options: On, When AssistiveTouch is Enabled, and Off. You can also choose their appearance to be Full or Minimal.quick-actions

When Quick Actions are enabled, you will be asked to complete a Quick Action when you see an alert on your Apple Watch. For instance, a notification informs you that you can double-pinch to resume your workout after pausing it (tap index finger to thumb twice quickly).


Open Settings on your Apple Watch, select Accessibility -> Quick Actions, and then press Try it out if you'd want to practice using Quick Action movements.


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