Exploring Expanded FaceTime Reaction Controls in iOS 17.4


In iOS 17, Apple introduced FaceTime video reactions, like fireworks for thumbs-up gestures, adding flair to calls. However, some users find them intrusive. With iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, third-party video calling apps can now disable these reactions by default, ensuring a more serious tone when necessary, as reported by MacRumors.

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This update addresses the default setting, which currently activates reactions upon the first use of FaceTime or other video apps. While users can manually disable them, this change grants developers more control over system-level effects, improving user experience and app functionality, according to The Verge.


Enabled by an API, this feature grants apps the autonomy to manage reaction settings independently from the system-wide defaults. Although currently in beta, these changes hint at a more customizable video calling experience for iOS and iPadOS users.


While the beta versions reveal these enhancements, it’s uncertain if macOS will receive similar updates. Anticipation for iOS 17.4 builds, promising features like game streaming and podcast transcript automation, aims to entice more users to upgrade, addressing concerns over bug fixes and feature stagnation since iOS 16.