The watchOS 8.3 release candidate expands AssistiveTouch to older Apple Watch models, allowing users of the older models to control their Apple Watch using only hand gestures.
Apple first unveiled the new feature back in May. Assistive Touch uses a combination of data from onboard Apple Watch sensors to notice subtle changes in muscle movements and tendon activity. Apple Watch users can use gestures like a pinch or clinch to control their Watch without touching the screen.
AssistiveTouch for watchOS enables people with upper-body limb differences to use Apple Watch without ever having to touch the display or controls. Using built-in motion sensors and on-device learning, Apple Watch detects subtle differences in muscle movements and tendon activity, letting you control the display through hand gestures like a pinch or a clench. This feature also works with VoiceOver so you can navigate Apple Watch with one hand while using a cane or leading a service animal. Answer incoming calls, control an onscreen motion pointer, and access Notification Center, Control Center, and more.
The feature was originally available only on newer Apple Watch models, such as the Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. Apple has now expanded the feature to include older Apple Watch models such as the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5.