Apple is making it easier to unlock the iPhone while wearing a mask. In iOS 14.5 that is currently in beta, you can unlock your iPhone just by wearing your Apple Watch.
Apple Watch unlock has been available on macOS for quite some time now. I enjoy the convenience of unlocking my MacBook Pro with an Apple Watch a lot. As long as I’m wearing the Apple Watch and it’s unlocked, opening the MacBook Pro lid or waking it from sleep will automatically log me in, notifying me on the Apple Watch with two subtle, haptic feedback.
The feature won’t work if it’s not in my wrist or if it’s locked.
According to various sources, you will still need to enter the passcode to unlock your iPhone every few hours for security reasons. But you won’t have to enter the passcode every time you need to unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing masks.
Since the pandemic began, it has been my — and I’m sure many of yours as well — biggest complaint about the iPhone’s lack of a fingerprint sensor. Those with a Touch ID can unlock their phones without any issues. But while out and about wearing masks, it’s really tedious to have to type in the passcode a gazillion times a day.
I hope Apple would someday bring back the Touch ID, perhaps as an under-display fingerprint sensor the same way OnePlus and Samsung’s latest flagships phone have. But until that happens, it’s undoubtedly a welcome addition for Apple Watch owners like myself.