Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch also with bezel

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Martí Micolau
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An article about the new beta option in iOS that allows you to unlock an iPhone with Face ID and an Apple Watch even if you are wearing a face mask.

Apple has introduced its own facial recognition system Face ID in November 2017 with the launch of ‌iPhone‌ X, giving users an even easier way to unlock their smartphone than traditional fingerprint recognition.

With the increasing use of face masks, Apple's biometric feature is inoperable and forces users to enter their PIN to unlock their mobile device when in public spaces.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

Fortunately, Apple intervened by introducing a new feature that allows iPhone users, who wear an Apple Watch, to unlock their smartphone via Face ID through a partial face scan, even when wearing a face mask.

The process is similar to unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch. When unlocking occurs, the user receives a short vibration and a notification on the Apple Watch informing them that the unlocking procedure was successful.

Note that you can only use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone‌ while wearing a face shield - you can't use it to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases.

Before you can take advantage of the new feature, you need to make sure you are running the developer beta or public betas of iOS 14.5 e Watch 7.4. You will need the ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch profiles from Apple's public beta website, and after installing them, you can update your iPhone‌ by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update. To update your Apple Watch, install iOS 14.5 and launch the Watch app on your ‌iPhone‌, tap the tab My Watch at the bottom of the screen, then select General -> Software update.

Here's what you'll need:

  • ‌IPhone‌ X or later with Face ID
  • Apple Watch Series 3 o versioni successive
  • iOS 14.5 or later installed on ‌iPhone‌
  • WatchOS 7.4 or later installed on Apple Watch

Updates iOS 14.5 e Watch 7.4 are currently only available in beta.

How to set up Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

  • Launch the app Settings on your ‌iPhone‌.
  • Select Face ID e code.
  • Enter the passcode of your ‌iPhone‌.
  • Scroll down to the "Unlock with Apple Watch”And move the switch next to Apple Watch to the green position ON. (If the option is off, you need to update the watchOS version on your Apple Watch.)

How to use Apple Watch to unlock your ‌iPhone even with a bezel

To use the Apple Watch to unlock your ‌iPhone, the smart watch must be nearby, on your wrist, unlocked and protected by a passcode. If you haven't set a PIN yet, launch the Watch app on your iPhone, select Code -> Activate Code, then enter the PIN you want to use (you'll need to do this twice to confirm).

The first time you try to unlock your ‌iPhone‌ with the Apple Watch while wearing a faceplate, your ‌iPhone will ask you to enter the unlock PIN. After doing this, all subsequent attempts to unlock your ‌iPhone‌, when you wear a face shield, will be quick and for each successful unlock, you will feel a short vibration on your wrist. You will need to re-enter the PIN every time you take off the Apple smart watch.

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