Apple’s iOS 14.5 is set to launch in the next few days, along with an outstanding privacy feature that will change the way you use your iPhone. But that’s not all—iOS 14.5 also comes with a new feature that will finally allow you to easily open your iPhone when wearing a mask, using your Apple Watch.
It was first seen in February, and the iPhone unlock feature in iOS 14.5 can’t come soon enough. Last year, at the start of the pandemic, Apple put in place a feature that makes your iPhone passcode come up when it detects you are wearing a mask, but this is fiddly and inconvenient to use.
How does the iOS 14.5 iPhone unlock feature work?
The secret to the new iOS 14.5 iPhone unlock feature is haptic feedback, the same tech that allows you to open your MacBook using your Apple Watch. It’s intuitive and easy to use, but there are several criteria that need to be met to take advantage of the feature.
If you want to open your iPhone in this way, you need to enable a passcode on your Apple Watch. You will only have to enter this when you put your Apple Watch on for the first time each day (unless you take it off at any point). At the same time, for the sake of security, you’ll also need to enable the Apple Watch wrist detection feature.
You can’t use this new iOS 14.5 feature to pay for things on your iPhone, but you don’t need to, as you can use your Apple Watch for that anyway.
How do set up Unlock with Apple Watch to open my iPhone when out and about?
The first thing you need to do when it arrives is make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.5 and your Apple Watch is on WatchOS 7.4.
Open up your iPhone Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter your PIN.
Then scroll down to Unlock with Apple Watch and look for your device. There you will find a toggle, which you can slide to “On” to ensure the feature is enabled. Simple.
The next time you are out, hold your iPhone up to your face and it will detect you are wearing a mask. You’ll then feel a little vibration on your wrist as your Apple Watch satisfyingly opens your iPhone. This vibration is a security feature too—it brings up an option to quickly lock your phone in case someone is trying to…