If you would like to control your Apple Watch using hand gestures rather than having to touch the screen. You will be pleased to know that since the release of watchOS 8.3 Apple has included an AssistiveTouch feature that allows you to do just that. This feature is perfect if you have difficulty touching the screen or pressing the buttons.
AssistiveTouch Quick Links:
- Turn on AssistiveTouch
- How to use AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch
- Customize your hand gestures
- Automatically scan through applications
- Using the motion pointer
- Action menu
Apple allows you to navigate your Watch menu by simply touching your fingers together or clenching your fist. If you are interested in learning more about How to use AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch this quick guide will take you through everything you need to know including how to answer calls, access applications and launcher menu of actions on your Apple Watch.
Begin by launching the Settings application directly from your watch’s interface. Within this, you’ll find an option labeled ‘Accessibility’. Select it, and you’ll be presented with another option, ‘AssistiveTouch’. By selecting AssistiveTouch, you activate the feature. A prompt will appear, asking for confirmation. Simply tap ‘OK’ to proceed. Alternatively, if you’re curious about what this feature entails, there’s an option to ‘Try It Out’. This provides a visual guide, introducing you to the capabilities of AssistiveTouch.
Turn on AssistiveTouch
- Launch the Settings application on your Apple Watch.
- Select the ‘Accessibility’ option.
- Choose ‘AssistiveTouch’ from the list.
- Tap on ‘AssistiveTouch’ to activate it.
- Confirm your choice by tapping ‘OK’. Alternatively, select ‘Try It Out’ for a visual guide.
- Alternatively, ask Siri on your Apple Watch to enable AssistiveTouch.
- For a more detailed setup, use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. This allows you to activate and customize AssistiveTouch features.
In addition to this manual method, there are other ways to enable AssistiveTouch. One such method is through the use of Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, directly from your Apple Watch. Simply ask Siri to turn on AssistiveTouch. Also, you can use the Apple Watch application on your iPhone for a more comprehensive experience. This allows you to not only activate AssistiveTouch but also customize its features to your liking, providing a personalized user experience.
How to use AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch
Controlling your Apple Watch using hand gestures becomes easy with AssistiveTouch once you had a little practice. Simply lift your wrist, and a blue halo will appear encircling the watch screen, notifying new that AssistiveTouch is active. To trigger this feature, swiftly clench your fist twice. The hue of this visual cue can be modified by navigating to Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Color.
If you prefer, the visual cue can be deactivated by going to Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Hand Gestures > Activation Gesture. Watch the video below for a quick overview of what you can accomplish using hand gestures in your Apple Watch.
Once AssistiveTouch is activated, a focus ring materializes around the first element on your screen, indicating that it can be selected via AssistiveTouch.
The default actions allow you to effortlessly navigate your Apple Watch using the following hand gestures:
- To proceed to the next item: Perform a pinch gesture (tap your index finger to your thumb).
- To go back one item: Execute a double pinch (tap your index finger to your thumb twice in quick succession).
- To select an item: Clench your hand (make a fist).
- To access the action menu: Perform a double clench (make a fist twice rapidly). The action menu provides a plethora of options that can be performed via AssistiveTouch, including scrolling, activating the Digital Crown, and more.
Customize your hand gestures
If you would like to customize your hand gestures this can be simply done by opening the settings app on your Apple Watch or the Apple Watch application on your iPhone. Once there go to the Accessibility then AssistiveTouch and select Hand Gestures option and select a gesture then select the action dude like it to perform when you make that gesture with your hand.
You can even customize the hand gesture that activates the AssistiveTouch by going to the following menu Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Hand Gestures > Activation Gesture.
Automatically scan through applications
The Manual Scanning feature in your Apple Watch, found under Settings > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Scanning Style, allows you to use hand gestures to dictate when AssistiveTouch shifts to the next screen item and when an item is selected. If you have enabled Auto Scanning, your Apple Watch will cycle through items on screen automatically
The default gestures that can be used with Auto Scanning are as follows:
- To access the action menu: Perform a pinch gesture.
- To reverse direction: Execute a double pinch.
While using Auto Scanning, a clench or a double clench will carry out the action that you’ve previously assigned to these gestures.
Using the motion pointer
A unique feature Apple has also integrated in this feature is a motion pointer that can be controlled by tilting your wrist. The motion pointer appears as a circle icon on your Apple Watch screen. Simply activate the motion pointer by shaking your wrist or using the action menu. This can be activated using the following command Settings > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Motion Pointer > Dwell Control.
The action menu serves as a dynamic directory of tasks you can execute across your Apple Watch. It’s designed to be context-sensitive, adjusting its display to present actions based on your current usage of the watch.
To access this menu, you’ll need to execute the associated hand gesture, which by default is a the double clench and gesture. Once triggered, you can navigate through the list of items, moving forward or backward, and select an item using gestures.
Personalizing the AssistiveTouch action menu is a straightforward process. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Customize Menu. From here, you have several options:
- Under ‘Favorites’, tap ‘Add Action’, then select the action you’d like to be included in the action menu, alongside the pre-existing items.
- Decide on the location where you’d like the action menu to be displayed.
- Enable a larger menu size for easier navigation.
If you are interested in learning more or having issues setting up AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch it might be worth jumping over to the official Apple support website or if you prefer making an appointment with an Apple Genius Bar representative to help you with any issues you may be experiencing. You can also use AssistiveTouch to control your iPhone.
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