Video calling has become an indispensable way to stay connected with friends and family. But staring at a screen for too long can get boring fast. That’s why Apple has introduced a bit of visual excitement to FaceTime in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17—reactions.
With the latest software update, you can now trigger fun reactions during FaceTime video calls to visually share how you’re feeling. React with a thumbs up to “Like” something your friend said. Rain down virtual thunderstorms to show you’re not impressed. Or declare your love by making a heart shape with your hands.
These reactions don’t disrupt the call or insert anything permanently on the screen. They simply overlay momentary animations and sound effects to spice up your video hangouts.
Keep reading this guide to learn about all the different FaceTime reactions available and how to easily trigger them using gestures during your next video call.
Introduction to iOS 17 FaceTime Reactions
The FaceTime reactions feature lets you briefly augment your video feed with visual effects like hearts, lasers, and balloons. Here’s a quick overview:
- 8 reactions – Choose from 8 different reactions including Like, Love, Dislike, Confetti, Balloons, Stormy Rain, Laser Beams, and Fireworks.
- Gesture-activated – Trigger reactions by making specific gestures in view of the camera. No need to long press the screen.
- Momentary effects – Reactions produce a brief on-screen effect but don’t permanently alter the video call.
- Liven up calls – Inject some excitement and fun into long FaceTime calls.
- Works on all devices – Use reactions during FaceTime calls on any iPhone, iPad, or Mac running iOS 17/iPadOS 17.
The reactions are designed to encourage engagement on FaceTime rather than be distracting. So go ahead and test them out next time you want to make your friends or family smile during a video chat!
The Complete List of FaceTime Reactions in iOS 17
iOS 17 features 8 FaceTime reactions to choose from. Here they all are along with the unique gestures required to trigger each one:
Like – Single thumbs up
Fireworks – Two thumbs up
Dislike – Single thumbs down
Stormy Rains – Two thumbs down
Heart – Heart shape with two hands
Love – Peace sign with two hands
Balloons – One-handed peace sign
Confetti – “Rock on” sign with both hands
Lasers – Laser beams with both hands
The effects are very responsive, activating immediately when you perform the gesture. Note that you generally need to position your hands away from your face and clearly in view of the camera to reliably trigger the reactions.
Here’s a handy table summarizing the gestures:
|Pew pew! 👐
Test them out yourself during your next FaceTime call to add some flair and fun!
How to Use FaceTime Reactions
Using the new FaceTime reactions is simple. Just perform one of the gesture triggers during an active FaceTime video call to overlay the effect.
There’s no need to long press the screen or hit buttons. As soon as you make the designated gesture clearly visible to the camera, your video will be augmented live.
The effect plays an animation or sound associated with the reaction you chose. So for Stormy Rains, clouds and rain are shown briefly overlaid on your video. The reactions only last a few seconds before disappearing seamlessly.
If you have an iPhone or iPad with a TrueDepth camera, you can even access reactions quickly using the menu that appears when you long press your FaceTime tile. Just long press then tap a reaction icon to preview or activate it.
FaceTime reactions are available during iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 FaceTime calls with individual users or groups. Try encouraging your family and friends to use reactions too in order to make your catch-up calls even more dynamic.
A video call doesn’t have to be all staring into screens. Liven up the conversation and have some visual fun with the handy new FaceTime reactions!
Conclusion – Add Some Flair to Your Video Calls
The latest iOS 17 update brings Apple’s typically polished user experience to FaceTime video calls. Reactions allow you to visually share reactions in real-time without disrupting the flow of conversation.
With 8 reactions to choose from triggered by whimsical hand gestures, there’s enough variety to keep your calls dynamic and fun. Test out making it rain when your dad tells a bad joke or fire heart animations at your long-distance partner.
Just be sure not to overuse reactions or let them become too distracting during serious conversations. Used appropriately, they’re a great way to add some atmosphere to video calls that might otherwise get stale.
Upgrade your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to iOS 17/iPadOS 17 to start using reactions. And encourage your frequent FaceTime contacts to update too in order to make calls more interactive.
FaceTime reactions show Apple’s continued commitment to enhancing their apps with intuitive features that users will actually love. They’ve made an already best-in-class video chat experience even more delightful.