Finally, Apple has made it possible to unlock the iPhone with your Facemask on with the latest iOS 14.5 update. However, as simple as it may sound, you will need an Apple Watch to do it. Let me explain how it can be done.
In a simple explanation, iPhone will detect your Apple Watch nearby and if someone with a facemask is scanned by the Face ID, it will automatically unlock the iPhone. A haptic alert will be sent to the Apple Watch.
That means anyone with a facemask will be able to unlock your phone when your Apple Watch is nearby. Usually, I think that is no problem. Unless you have a lot of secrets or are worried that someone will want to look at your iPhone, it is better not to turn this feature on.
There is a safety warning though. Your Apple Watch will alert you if someone tries to unlock your phone with a facemask. you can easily use your Apple Watch to lock the iPhone.
Here is what you need if you want to use this feature.
Unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch requires these devices:
- An iPhone that uses Face ID (iPhone X or later) and has iOS 14.5 or later
- An Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later
The feature also has these requirements:
- Your Apple Watch needs to be paired with your iPhone.
- Your iPhone and Apple Watch need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
- Your Apple Watch needs to have a passcode, and wrist detection must be turned on.
- Your Apple Watch needs to be on your wrist and unlocked.
- You need to be wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
How to set up Unlock with Apple Watch
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap Face ID & Passcode, then type your passcode.
- Scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch, then turn on the feature next to your watch’s name. If your watch doesn’t have wrist detection enabled, you’re asked to turn it on.
In my opinion, it would save a lot of time to unlock the iPhone for people who have to wear a facemask for a long period of time. In Singapore, with the COVID-19 restriction, we need to use the phone to scan QR Codes to enter malls or shops. iPhone users will need to key in the passcode each time they need to access the scanner (e.g. TraceTogether app).
Let me know what you think about this feature.