What you need to know
- The first iOS 14.5, iOS 7.4 betas include a feature that unlocks your iPhone using your Apple Watch.
- Apple Watch wearers will be able to unlock their iPhones even while wearing a mask.
No more entering your passcode when wearing a mask.
The first betas of iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 include a new feature that allows iPhones to be unlocked by an Apple Watch. The feature will make it easier to unlock Face ID-equipped iPhones while wearing a face mask.
As great as Face ID is, the wearing of a face mask does make it a little problematic. As a result, users have had to resort to entering their iPhone’s passcode to unlock it. So long as they’re wearing an Apple Watch, that will no longer be required.
iPhone can use your Apple Watch to unlock when Face ID detects a face with a mask. Your Apple Watch must be nearby, on your wrist, unlocked, and protected by a passcode.
It includes a new feature: Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a mask. If you are wearing a mask and have an unlocked Apple Watch on your wrist, you can unlock FaceID on your iPhone.
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) February 1, 2021
iOS 14.5 developer beta:
⌚️ Unlock iPhone with Face ID + Apple Watch if you’re wearing a mask. Haptic notification + ability to re-lock
🔒 App Tracking controls
🚨 Hey, Siri, call emergency!
🎮 Latest Xbox/PS controller support
📱 5G global dual-SIM support
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) February 1, 2021
It isn’t yet clear whether this will also enable Apple Pay transactions without the need to enter a passcode, however.
Apple made the two beta updates available to developers earlier today and it’s likely to be a few weeks before they’re made available to the public. However, the fact Apple is working to find a way around the Face ID and mask problem is promising. Let’s just hope that the feature is more reliable than the one that should allow Apple Watches to unlock Macs.