How to use iOS 17 FaceTime Gestures on iPhone, iPad and Mac: Ultimate Guide

With the release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, Apple has redefined the interactive capabilities of FaceTime by incorporating hand gestures to trigger animated reactions. This innovative feature not only enhances the user experience on Apple devices but also extends its functionality to popular third-party applications such as WhatsApp and Instagram. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to use FaceTime gestures effectively across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Introduction to iOS 17 FaceTime Gestures

FaceTime gestures are a new way to make your video calls more dynamic and expressive. By simply using hand gestures, you can send visual cues and reactions during a call, making your communications more vivid and engaging. This feature is perfect for those moments when you want to add a bit of flair or humor to your conversations without interrupting the flow of dialogue.

Setting Up FaceTime Gestures

Before you can start enjoying the new gesture features, you’ll need to activate them. The setup process is slightly different depending on your device.

On iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch FaceTime: Open the FaceTime app on your device.
  2. Access Control Centre: Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Centre.
  3. Activate Video Effects: Tap on the “Video Effects” option.
  4. Select Reactions: From the menu that appears, choose the “Reactions” feature to enable it.

On Mac

  1. Open FaceTime: Start by launching the FaceTime application on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to Menu: Click on the FaceTime logo in the menu bar at the top of your screen.
  3. Choose Reactions: Select the “Reactions” option from the dropdown menu.

Utilizing FaceTime Gestures During Calls

Once you have enabled the FaceTime gestures, you are ready to use them during your video calls. Here are some of the gestures available and the reactions they trigger:

  • Heart Gesture: Form a heart shape with your hands to send a heart emoji to the screen.
  • Thumbs Up: A simple thumbs up with your hand will display a thumbs up emoji.
  • Double Thumbs Up: Doing a double thumbs up triggers a spectacular fireworks display on the screen.
  • Thumbs Down: A single thumbs down will show a thumbs down emoji.
  • Double Thumbs Down: Two thumbs down starts a rain animation, perfect for expressing disappointment or disapproval.
  • Peace Sign: A single peace sign with one hand releases a flurry of colorful balloons.
  • Double Peace Sign: Two peace signs with both hands create a cascade of confetti, ideal for celebrating moments together.
  • Rock On: The “rock on” sign with two hands unveils an exciting laser show.

Alternative Ways to Use Reactions on Mac

For those who prefer a more subtle approach or may feel awkward making gestures, macOS Sonoma offers a way to use FaceTime reactions without physical gestures:

  1. Engage in a Video Call: Make sure you are in an active FaceTime video call.
  2. Access Reactions: Click the FaceTime logo in the menu bar and find the Reactions feature.
  3. Select a Reaction: Click the small arrow next to Reactions and choose from the list of available animations to express your feelings.

This functionality is unique to the FaceTime application on Mac and offers users a discreet way to engage with video call reactions.

Enhancing Your Appearance on FaceTime

Apart from gestures, FaceTime on iOS 17 also provides various filters and effects that can enhance your appearance during calls. These features allow you to adjust your look in real-time, offering a fun way to experiment with different aesthetics.


The introduction of FaceTime gestures with iOS 17 has significantly enriched the video calling experience on Apple devices, providing users with a fun and interactive way to communicate. Whether you’re chatting with friends, family, or colleagues, these gestures can bring a new level of engagement to your conversations. Update your devices, familiarize yourself with these new features, and make your next FaceTime call more memorable and expressive than ever!

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