Mask-wearers delight: Update enables Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone

Biggest pain pain point of Face ID begone
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Apple Watch users will soon be able to unlock their iPhone without Face ID, just by simply wearing their smartwatch.

TechCrunch reports a new feature spotted in the iOS 14.5 developer beta allows users wearing their Apple Watch to bypass security.

You can already unlock your Mac if you're wearing your Apple Watch, so you can forgo your password if you’re wearing your Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is secured by a passcode, and once it detects that it’s been placed onto your wrist, that validation remains until it’s removed. Thus, if your Apple Watch is secure, your Mac – and now iPhone – will consider itself in safe hands.

When it’s unlocked it will buzz the watch to notify you – as presumably someone sat next to you could pick up and unlock your phone. That fact might mean this optional feature isn’t for everyone.

Mask-wearers delight: Update enables Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone

The Apple Watch can unlock your Mac

But it does solve the main pain-point of Face ID. Mask wearing. When you pull your phone out too look at a message and it won’t unlock. You use the passcode and put it away, the person replies, and you’re hammering in the 6-digit passcode all over again.

This frustration has led to some becoming wistful for the days of Touch ID, and there is talk that Apple could return the feature via the screen – just as we’ve seen some Android smartphone manufacturers like Oppo implement.

We’re not sure when the new feature will land for us non-developer proles – but you shouldn’t have too many more frustrated passcodes to enter.

TAGGED Apple Watch

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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