Apple officially released iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 to the public, making a major change to the integration between iPhone and Apple Watch. For the first time, you can now use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask. Here is how it works.
Unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch
To enable Unlock with Apple Watch, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then find the “Face ID & Passcode” setting. Once you toggle this toggle, your Apple Watch will be able to authenticate your iPhone as long as the following conditions are met:
- Face ID detects a mask
- Your Apple Watch is nearby
- Your Apple Watch is on your wrist
- Your Apple Watch is unlocked
- Your Apple Watch has a password enabled
Another thing to keep in mind here is that if you turn off the Apple Watch wrist detection function, you will not be able to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch.
Once you enable the feature, your iPhone will automatically unlock with your Apple Watch the next time you wear a face mask. When your iPhone unlocks, you receive a haptic feedback notification on your Apple Watch letting you know that your iPhone has been unlocked by Apple Watch. There is also the option to “lock iPhone” quickly directly from this Apple Watch notification.
The functionality is similar to how the Apple Watch unlock feature works on the Mac, but it feels both faster and more reliable in my early testing. On the Mac, the Apple Watch can be used for a variety of different authentication tasks, including accessing commands in System Preferences, making Apple Pay purchases, and more.
On the iPhone, unlocking the Apple Watch is only limited to unlocking your iPhone while wearing your mask. It doesn’t work if your iPhone can’t detect if you’re wearing a mask, and it doesn’t work for things like Apple Pay, auto-filling credit cards in Safari, or accessing Apple Card features in the app. Wallet. In these cases, you will still need to enter your password if you are wearing a mask.
The “Lock iPhone” button is an important security step because it allows you to relock your iPhone if it should be unlocked by someone else wearing a face mask. It does not appear to be searching for your face at all. Instead, it just searches for a face mask, and when it registers a face mask – whether it’s on you or someone else – it’ll use proximity to unlock with your Apple Watch.
Ultimately, what’s important to keep in mind here is that Unlock with Apple Watch is not as secure as unlocking with face or password, but it is. is much more convenient.
Despite its limitations, supporting unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask is a huge change amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (American readers, please keep in mind that vaccine distribution is not as advanced in other countries around the world.)
What do you think of this feature? Let us know in the comments!
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