Unlocking your iPhone with Apple watch? Here’s how it works.

apple iPhone and an iWatch

Unlocking your iPhone with Apple watch sounds really cool right?

With the launch of iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, Apple introduced a feature that’s designed to allow you to unlock your iPhones with a paired and authenticated Apple Watch.

This intends to reduce the need for you to always enter your passcode.

There are a specific set of requirements that allows the Apple Watch to authenticate your identity and then unlocking your iPhone.

Read about the picture-in-picture feature on iOS here

You’ll need an ‌iPhone‌ X model or later with iOS 14.5 or later installed and an Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later, which must be paired together.

Both WiFi and Bluetooth need to be activated for communication between your ‌iPhone‌ and your Apple Watch too.

Now, your Apple Watch needs to have a passcode and wrist detection must be enabled.

Unlock with Apple Watch needs to be expressly turned on for it to function, and you can find the feature in Settings > Face ID & Passcode on your iPhone.

So how does unlocking your iPhone with Apple watch work?

To unlock the ‌iPhone‌ with the Apple Watch, you will need to wake your ‌iPhone‌ first by raising it or tapping the screen.

Next you will need to glance at it to unlock. This requirement to glance at the ‌iPhone‌ is meant to prevent the feature from working when you’re not close by your ‌iPhone‌.

I believe though not mentioned by Apple, there definitely seems to also be a proximity requirement because it will tell you if you’re not close enough to your phone.

Why do I have glance at my iPhone to unlock it when I am using an iWatch?

This is a feature that can allow someone else that’s not you to unlock your ‌iPhone‌ if they’re near you, have your ‌iPhone‌, and are wearing a mask.

So enabling it should be done with caution if other people have access to your device and you’re worried about security.

Can I use this feature for ApplePay and other identity verification procedures?

It’s worth noting that the Unlock with Apple Watch feature only works for unlocking the ‌iPhone‌.

It does not verify identity for use with Apple Pay, passwords in Keychain, or password-protected apps, which will require either Face ID or your passcode.

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