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How to control your Apple Watch without touching the screen

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If you have updated your Apple Watch, you can now control your connected watch without touching it thanks to the AssistiveTouch feature already present on the iPhone. You can now read messages, analyze your heart rate or even change your music using simple gestures. I'll explain.

Since the watchOS 8 update, Apple Watch owners have a new feature at their disposal. AssistiveTouch allows you to control your connected watch without ever touching it using simple gestures.

As we're used to at Apple, the technology behind AssistiveTouch is very innovative, using the watch's accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart rate sensor to read how your muscles and tendons move. The Apple Watch is thus able to determine whether you pinch your fingers or clench your fists, but also move in your menu thanks to the movement of your wrist and arm.

While Apple originally developed AssistiveTouch to make life easier for people with limited mobility, it can be useful for anyone who often has busy hands.

Activate AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch

To control your Apple Watch without your hands, you'll need to activate the AssistiveTouch feature here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Select AssistiveTouch.
  4. Touch AssistiveTouch to activate it.
  5. Tap OK to confirm.
Activer l'AssistiveTouch sur votre Apple Watch
Activate AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch / © NextPit

Use gestures to control your Apple Watch without touching it

Once AssistiveTouch is enabled, a blue ring should appear around the screen of your Apple Watch. It indicates that AssistiveTouch is enabled and ready to be triggered with the default squeeze gesture.

Here are the different default gestures to navigate on your Apple Watch:

  • To move to the next item: pinch your thumb and index finger once.
  • To return to the previous item: pinch your thumb and index finger twice quickly.
  • To confirm: clench your fist.
Gestes à utiliser pour contrôler votre Apple Watch
Gestures to use to control your Apple Watch / © Nextpit

What do you think of this AssistiveTouch feature for the Apple Watch? Do you think it's a bit gimmicky or on the contrary revolutionary?

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Gabriel Robert

Gabriel Robert
Editor NextPit France

Born on a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, I travelled all over the world before settling in Berlin. Having worked for Forbes, Les Echos or Konbini, I don't let Apple take me for a ride, despite my weakness for its products. I am particularly interested in the sustainability and the social and environmental impact of our connected products.

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