You may want to turn off the new FaceTime reactions before your online therapy session.

iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma are now available to the public, and they bring a host of new features to FaceTime, including 3D reactions that appear when users perform certain hand gestures. However, in some situations these effects are confusing for users, such as during online therapy sessions, and you may want to turn them off.

New FaceTime reactions are embarrassing some users

As The Verge notes, there are a number of users who have encountered awkward situations after updating their Apple devices to the latest versions of their respective operating systems. In particular, this confusion was caused by new FaceTime features.

In iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma, users can make gestures such as thumbs up, thumbs down, or hearts to show 3D emoji. screen during a video call. Other gestures can show balloons, confetti, and even fireworks behind the user. Of course, these effects are meant to be fun, but they may not be suitable for some more serious situations.

Mat Haughey mentioned in a Mastodon post that his friend saw fireworks during a therapy session when he was doing both thumbs up hands, describing one of his injuries. SimplePractice, a telemedicine platform, is warning its users about FaceTime's new 3D reactions – because they also work with third-party apps.

“It's so bad that online therapy sessions now start with a warning dialog,” – said Hoagie. Although users can disable these reactions, they are enabled by default so some users are not even aware of them. Personally, I was on a FaceTime call recently and the app misidentified my hands as being on my face as a thumbs up, causing the app to show a huge 3D emoji on the screen.

Here's how to turn off 3D reactions during video calls

If you don't want to be surprised experience one of these reactions during a therapy session or business meeting, here's how to turn them off in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17:

  1. Start a video call (or open the FaceTime app).
  2. Swipe swipe up from the top right corner of the screen to access Control Center.
  3. If you have an iPhone SE, swipe up. at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap Video Effects.
  5. Turn off the Reactions option.

Here's how to turn off reactions in macOS Sonoma:

  1. Start a video call (or open the FaceTime app)
  2. Click the Video/FaceTime icon in the macOS menu bar
  3. Turn off Reactions.

Reactions will be disabled until you enable them again using the same steps. It's worth noting that reactions are also available in FaceTime for Apple TV with tvOS 17.

Have you encountered any unexpected situations with the new reactions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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