The next update of iOS 14.5 will let you unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask without having to enter the security code, thanks to your Apple Watch. We explain how it works, its advantages and disadvantages.
Since the start of the pandemic, Face ID has gone from being the best unlocking system for security and convenience, to being a real nuisance because it’s completely useless when we have a half-face covered. At least until the arrival of iOS 14.5, of which we are releasing the first beta for developers, and that will allow you to use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone when wearing a mask. How it works? What are its advantages and disadvantages? We explain everything to you in this video.
The first thing we need is that our iPhone and Apple Watch are updated to iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 which at the time of writing are in beta 1, available only to developers. The final version of these updates shouldn’t take too long and will appear in your device’s settings as soon as it’s available to all users. Once updated to this version (at least), you will be able to use this new feature that allows your iPhone to be unlocked even with a mask on. But you have to take into account several other requirements:
- Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on on iPhone and Apple Watch.
- You must activate the option “Unlock with Apple Watch” in the settings of the iPhone, in the Face ID menu.
- The two devices must be located close to each other (maximum two meters).
- The Apple W atch must have an unlock code, and it must be unlocked and on our wrist.
With all these requirements fulfilled when we try to unlock our iPhone with a mask, the terrible unlock code screen will not appear again, but We can see how the iPhone tells us it was unlocked with the Apple Watch, and on our Apple Watch, we will receive a notification indicating this fact. There will also be a button on the screen of our watch that will allow us to lock the iPhone if the unlock was unwanted.
A comfortable and fast system
The operation of this system is quite transparent to the user once we activate it. As I said before, you just have to try it with a mask and you will see how your iPhone is unlocked at the same time as on your Apple Watch. the sound of a padlock rings and it vibrates on your wrist. However, there are situations in which this unlocking system will not work, to give it greater security:
- When restarting the iPhone, you must first enter the unlock code before you can use Face ID and therefore unlock with the Apple Watch.
- The first time we try to unlock the phone with a mask, it will ask us for the unlock code.
- If the Apple Watch is more than two meters away it will ask us for the unlock code and Face ID or unlock with Apple Watch will not work again until we enter it manually.
- If we block the iPhone through the notification that appears on our Apple Watch, we will have to enter the code manually for Face ID and unlocking with Apple Watch to work again.
- It does not work with standby mode activated.
But with drawbacks
It is far from the perfect solution. It’s a relief for those of us who spend many hours a day wearing the mask, but there are safety concerns that Apple itself recognizes. In reality You cannot use this unlock with Apple Watch to make payments with Apple Pay
This is a first beta in which we released a new unlocking system, so I hope it will improve in future versions, for example, doing a partial reading of our face, enough that anyone who takes it with a mask on cannot unlock it. Even with these improvements, I think this is not a solution that will be final, and Apple will surely continue to work on other alternatives to solve the mask problem, but in the meantime, this solution in my opinion fulfills its mission perfectly. .