watchOS 8.3 brings gesture controls to older Apple Watch models

watchOS 8.3 brings gesture controls to older Apple Watch models


Apple Watch AssistiveTouch gesture controls
Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 support on the way.
Photo: Apple

The new watchOS 8.3 release candidate, rolled out by Apple on Wednesday, brings AssistiveTouch gesture controls to older Apple Watch models.

The feature made its debut back in May, but could be used only on newer devices, like Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 7. The release candidate expands support to Series 4 and Series 6 devices for the first time.

AssistiveTouch hits older Apple Watch models

AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch gives users the ability to control their device without having to touch its display or buttons. It uses built-in motion sensors and on-device learning to detect subtle movements and tendon activity.

The feature lets you navigate your Apple Watch and use its features by making hand gestures, pinching your fingers, or clenching your fist. It also works great with VoiceOver. Check out the video below that shows AssistiveTouch in action.

Apple’s video tells you that AssistiveTouch is only available on Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Series 6 or later — and that used to be the case. But with watchOS 8.3, the feature will also be available on Series 4 and Series 5 models.

watchOS 8.3 on the way

You can get your hands (or wrist?) on watchOS 8.3 now by signing up for Apple’s public Beta Software Program. Alternatively, if you don’t like running beta software, you can wait for the update to roll out to everyone.

Now that a release candidate is available, it shouldn’t be long before watchOS 8.3 makes its official debut.