| Cult of Mac

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 lets users control Apple Watch by clenching a fist


AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to release software updates this year that will make its devices far easier to use for people with mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities.

The features include AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, which offers astonishing new ways for people with limited mobility to control the smartwatch without tapping its screen. The new feature uses Apple Watch’s array of sensors to interpret the wearer’s movement into interactions.

Cupertino showcased AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch — which lets users maneuver a cursor on the wearable’s screen simply by clenching their fist and pinching their fingers together, among other things — in a remarkable video. (We embedded the video below — definitely watch it.)

But AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch is just the beginning of Apple’s latest big push into accessibility.

See iOS 13’s best unannounced features [Video]


iOS 13 on an iPhone X
Have you upgraded yet?
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

After spending time playing with the iPadOS 13 developer beta and iOS 13 beta , it’s clear there are tons of nice changes coming to Apple’s mobile platforms this fall.

Cupertino highlighted the biggest ones at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, there’s a bunch of smaller stuff they didn’t tell us about. While there are hundreds of “under the hood” changes, these are the best iOS 13 features Apple didn’t announce.

Best unannounced iOS 13 features

Apple videos explain iPhone AssistiveTouch, VoiceOver, Magnifier accessibility features


Apple video demonstrates how to use iOS accessibility features
Apple demonstrates how to use AssistiveTouch, which adds a virtual Home button that can perform multiple functions.
Screenshot: Apple

A series of videos from Apple Support walks users through setting up and using some of the features created for users with limited dexterity or vision. These explain AssistiveTouch, VoiceOver, Magnifier and inverted colors.

Watch them now: