Taking a Photo on the Apple Watch Got Even Easier with watchOS 9

Learn how to use the Double Pinch gesture to take a picture with Apple Watch gestures in watchos9.

In 2021, watchOS 8 brought with it the addition of Assitive Touch, an innovative accessibility feature to help make the device easier to navigate for those who have difficulty using the small touch screen. With watchOS 9, Apple expands on its gesture control, adding pinching to move forward and clenching fist to tap. One of the coolest new gestures is the ability to double-pinch to take a photo, eliminating the need to even press a button when taking a photo with the Apple Watch Camera Remote. I'll show you how below.

Related: Apple Watch Series 8 Release: What's the Next New Apple Watch for 2022

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How to Turn On AssistiveTouch on Your Apple Watch

Before you can use Hand Gestures with your Apple Watch, the first thing you will need to do is turn on Quick Actions and AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch. 

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.

    Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Accessibility.

    Tap Accessibility.
  3. Then, tap Quick Actions.

    Then, tap Quick Actions.
  4. Select either On or When AssistiveTouch is Enabled depending on your preferences. If you select On, the gestures will work all the time whether or not AssistiveTouch is on. If you select When Assistive Touch is Enabled, you will not accidentally perform any Quick Actions, but you will have to enable AssistiveTouch whenever you want to use a Quick Action.

    Select either On or When Assistive-Touch is Enabled depending on your preferences.
  5. Then, tap the back button

    Then, tap the back button. 
  6. Tap AssistiveTouch.

    Tap AssistiveTouch.
  7. Then, tap AssistiveTouch to turn it on. It will be green when activated.

    Then, tap AssistiveTouch to turn it on. It will be green when activated.

How to Use Hand Gestures on Apple Watch to Take a Photo

Now that you've enabled AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch, you can use the double-pinching gesture to take a picture. With the new hand gestures that were made available with watchOS 9, there are a lot of things you can do on your watch completely hands-free. To learn more cool tips and tricks like this, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day! To take a picture with Hand Gestures on the Apple Watch,

  1. Open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. Your iPhone's camera will automatically open and you will be able to preview what your camera is seeing from your Apple Watch.

    Open the Camera Remote app on your Apple Watch. You iPhone's camera will automatically open and you will be able to preview what your camera is seeing from your Apple Watch.
  2. Then, double-pinch with the hand that is wearing the Apple Watch to take the photo.

    Then, double-pinch with the hand that is wearing the Apple Watch to take the photo.

And now, basically like magic, you should have been able to capture a photo completely hands-free. This feature is not only fun, but it's also very convenient and makes taking selfies or timed photos that much easier. Show us the pictures you take with this cool feature!

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life, a published poet, and a longtime Apple enthusiast. Before graduating in the spring of 2021 with her Master’s degree in Literature, specializing in early 20th-century American and British Modernism, she was a college writing tutor and University English professor. Her latest piece, "Temporizing: Self Portrait" can be found in the Winter '21 edition of New Note Poetry. Although an enthusiastic traveler, you can most often find Rachel curled up under a blanket with a glass of red wine, reading a book with her cat Blue in Charlotte, North Carolina.