Video calling has become an essential way for people to connect in the modern world. With iOS 17, Apple has introduced an exciting new feature – video reactions. Video reactions allow you to react during a FaceTime or third-party video call using fun animations like hearts, celebratory confetti, and more. This guide will walk through everything you need to know to use video reactions in iOS 17.
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Activating Video Reactions
Before you can start using video reactions, you need to turn on the feature in your device settings. Here are the steps:
- Open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 17. You can access Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap on the “Video Effects” icon. This looks like a starburst symbol.
- Make sure the switch for “Reactions” is turned on. If reactions are disabled, tap the switch to enable it.
And that’s it! Video reactions are now activated and ready to use during your next video call.
Using Hand Gestures
The most fun way to trigger reactions during a call is by using hand gestures. By making certain hand symbols towards your device’s camera, you can activate reactions like hearts, celebrations, and more.
Here are the gestures you can use:
- Hearts – Make a heart shape with your hands
- Thumbs Up – Raise your thumb towards the camera
- High Five – Raise your palm towards the camera
- Confetti – Wave your hand back and forth
- Balloons – Place thumbs and index fingers together to form a diamond
The great thing about gesture reactions is that you don’t need to touch any buttons on the screen. Just perform the gestures clearly in front of your camera during your call. The person on the other end of the call will see fun full-screen animations of your reactions!
Using the Reaction Icons
You can also add reactions the old fashioned way – by tapping buttons! During a video call, follow these steps:
- Touch and hold your own tile thumbnail that shows your live camera feed. This might take 1-2 seconds of sustained contact.
- A row of reaction icon buttons will appear along the bottom your screen overlapping the call.
- Tap the icon of whichever reaction you want to activate.
- Your selected reaction animation will play on the full screen for the person on the other end of the call! Common reactions are hearts, thumbs up, confetti, and more.
Customizing Your Reactions
You aren’t limited to just the default reactions in iOS 17. You can actually customize them to substitute in your own animated reactions!
Here is how to change out the default reactions:
- Open the Settings app
- Navigate to FaceTime > Video Effects > Reactions
- Tap on any default reactions to change them. For example, tap on the Hearts option.
- You will get a menu where you can select one of 8 possible reactions: Love, Like, Dislike, Balloons, Stormy Rain, Confetti, Laser Beams or Fireworks.
- Choose your preferred reaction and it will now replace the old default.
Get creative and set up reactions that match your personality! The new animated reactions really take FaceTime calls up a level and make them more dynamic and fun compared to plain old video chatting.
Here some best practices as you start spicing up your video calls with reactions:
- Explain to your call recipients how reactions work so they aren’t confused by sudden full-screen animations. Walk new users through activating the feature on their end.
- Be aware reactions only work on iOS and MacOS devices running recent OS versions. If your recipient is on an older system, they won’t see your reactions.
- Pay attention to timing when sending a reaction. You want it to align with the conversation, just like laughter or smiles during an in-person chat.
- Don’t spam too many reactions or it becomes distracting. Use them at meaningful moments.
- Have fun coming up with clever hand gestures or combinations of reactions! Get inventive.
Video reactions open up a great new avenue of non-verbal communication during video calls. With some practice, they can help your calls become more vibrant, natural, and dynamic. Activate reactions on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 17 today and see the difference they make on your next FaceTime!
iOS 17’s video reactions bring video calls up to the next level. By using simple hand gestures or on-screen icons, you can inject reactions like virtual balloons, fireworks, confetti, and more to make your calls livelier and more fun. Customize which reactions appear to match your personality. Just be sure to explain the feature to new users so animations aren’t confusing. Used creatively at the right moments, reactions enable you to communicate visually in whole new ways during your FaceTime and third-party app video chats. Give Apple’s latest reaction feature a try today!