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.


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

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, and worked on Windows: The Official Magazine until becoming editor of What Laptop Magazine. As an editor of technology media titles, James launched Windows 8: The Official Magazine, and TechRadar's iPad magazine edition .tech.

After these launches, 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.

He has provided expert comments to a host of sources and has appeared on BBC News and Sky News to talk about smartwatch releases

James also appeared as an expert on Channel News Asia's documentary on wearable tech.

He has also spoken about wearables at a range of events, and hosts a monthly wearable technology event called Wearables London.

And James has also moderated wearable tech panels at Web Summit, IFA, and The Wearable Technology Show.

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