Apple says video calling apps can turn off default reactions in iOS 17.4

With the release of iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, Apple will give video calling apps the ability to turn off the new Reactions feature by default.

This new Reactions feature debuted in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma last year. This feature is enabled by default, and this decision led to some rather awkward moments when reactions were triggered randomly during a video call.

Although we assumed that Apple may disable this feature by default in iOS 17.4, but ultimately it won't. As MacRumors correctly pointed out, iOS 17.4 instead includes a new API that gives developers the ability to disable reactions by default. For example, Zoom could adopt this API and make reactions enable rather than disable it.

It remains to be seen whether Zoom will accept this new API. However, I definitely expect developers of popular therapy apps to make changes. This feature will also remain enabled by default for FaceTime.

Apple's iOS 17.4 developer release notes confirm this change. “Developers can control the default behavior of reactions,” he says. Apple explains. “This is controlled on a per-app basis, and user choices override the defaults declared by the app.”

This change will likely be included in macOS 14.4, but Apple hasn't done so yet. mentioned the change in the release notes for this developer update.

Here's a rundown of the different responsive options in iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and iPadOS 17.

  • To show red hearts, Make a heart sign with both hands.
  • To show balloons, make a victory sign (peace sign).
  • To show a thumbs up emoji, hold one thumbs up.
  • To show the thumbs down emoji, hold one thumbs down.
  • To show thunder shower, hold two thumbs down.
  • To show confetti, make two signs victories (peace signs).
  • To show fireworks, give two thumbs up.
  • To show laser beams, make a horns 🤘 sign on each hand.

Have you had any awkward moments using the Reactions feature? Let us know in the comments.

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