Apple now allows iPhone users to unlock their device using their Apple Watch. The feature comes very handy, especially in the current situation, as almost everyone is wearing masks. All the latest iPhones use FaceID – facial recognition – for authenticating its users and doing so while wearing a mask is difficult.
The “unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch” feature requires that users have a phone which supports FaceID (iPhone X or later) and it also requires that the iPhone be running iOS 14.5 or later. On the Apple Watch side, it should be running watchOS 7.4 or later on an Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
Steps to set up your iPhone to be unlocked via Apple Watch-
- On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
- In the Settings app, go to Face ID & Passcode submenu.
- In the Face ID & Passcode menu, scroll down to see an option named “Unlock with Apple Watch”.
- Turn on (toggle) the option “Unlock with Apple Watch”.
- Select the Apple Watch from the list (select the one you wish to use to unlock your iPhone if you have more than on Apple Watch).
To unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch-
- Raise your iPhone or tap on the screen to wake it.
- If your Apple Watch is unlocked, then your iPhone will unlock automatically without requiring you to unmask yourself.
- If your Apple Watch is locked, you will have to enter the passcode.
- Apple also notes that to use this feature, you must be wearing a mask.
Accidental unlocks or misuse of the feature by others
Sometimes your iPhone may unlock by mistake or someone else may unlock your iPhone when in close proximity to you when wearing your Apple Watch. However, your Apple Watch will always notify you whenever your iPhone unlocks with haptic feedback on your wrist and your Apple Watch will show an alert.