iOS 14.5 Adds an Option to Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch if You're Wearing a Mask

With the iOS 14.5 update, Apple is finally adding a solution that makes it easier to unlock an iPhone when you're wearing a mask. Right now, with a face mask on, Face ID does not work, requiring those wearing masks to enter a passcode to unlock their devices, a process that is time consuming and inconvenient.

FaceID Masked Teal
In iOS 14.5, there's a new option to unlock an ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID and an Apple Watch paired together, with the Apple Watch's authentication providing an extra layer of security.

If you're wearing an unlocked Apple Watch and use Face ID as you normally would, the ‌iPhone‌ will unlock after a partial face scan. When the unlock happens, you'll feel a haptic buzz and will receive a notification on the Apple Watch informing you that the unlocking procedure was successful, similar to how it works when unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch.

As noted by Engadget, this feature must be manually enabled to use it, and there's also an option to lock the ‌iPhone‌ from the Apple Watch. Things like App Store purchases and Apple Pay payments will not be able to be authenticated through the Face ID + Apple Watch pairing, so you'll still need full Face ID authentication or a passcode for some actions.

iOS 14.5 also introduces support for the latest Xbox and Playstation controllers, it adds AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness+, it brings dual-SIM 5G support, and there's a new feature for asking Siri to call emergency services.

Top Rated Comments

Braderunner Avatar
11 months ago
Now...THIS...is exciting!
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
11 months ago

Bummer that is doesn't work for Apple Pay but I guess I understand why.
Just use your Apple Watch to pay.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canyda Avatar
11 months ago

It is simply false that “Right now, with a face mask on, Face ID does not work”.
One of the selling points of FaceID is that it intelligently adapts to changes in appearance and also that it simply isn’t using a flat photo of your face. If you’ve used a mask for more than a day or two it knows. I can imagine that most people saying this have probably only left their house once over the past year. If you consistently wear the same type of face mask the same way it easily learns. Worked on my last iPhone, continued to work on my new iPhone. A day of inconvenience, but by now most people should have it working.
I've stared at my iPhone with a mask on for most of the last 200 or so days and not once has it unlocked my iPhone with Face ID.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
11 months ago
Great idea! seriously,

(and hilarious icon)
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clcnyc Avatar
11 months ago

Great, just in time to stop wearing masks! ;)
We’re not even close to that point.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
11 months ago
Wow you guys are really going to make me get back on the beta train right now??
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

7

Apple Seeds RC Version of watchOS 7.4 to Developers

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the RC version of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming two weeks release of the seventh beta and over two months after the launch of watchOS 7.3 with "Time to Walk" functionality, expanded ECG availability, and a new Unity watch face. To install the ‌watchOS 7.4 beta, developers need to download the proper...
applewatchse

Apple Releases Second watchOS 7.4 Public Beta With iPhone Unlocking Feature

Wednesday February 17, 2021 11:06 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to public beta testers, with the new beta coming two weeks after the first public beta and a day after the release of the second developer beta. The ‌watchOS 7‌.4 update can be downloaded after upgrading your iPhone to the public beta version of iOS 14.5. After installing iOS 14.5, the watchOS 7.4 software should show up,...
applewatchse

Apple Releases First watchOS 7.4 Public Beta With iPhone Unlocking Feature

Thursday February 4, 2021 2:51 pm PST by
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to public beta testers, with the new beta coming a few days after the release of the first developer beta. The ‌watchOS 7‌.4 update can be downloaded after upgrading your iPhone to the public beta version of iOS 14.5. After installing iOS 14.5, the watchOS 7.4 software should show up as long as you have the Apple Watch...
maxresdefault

iOS 14.5 Will Reportedly Be Released Later Today [Update: It's Out Now]

Monday April 26, 2021 6:01 am PDT by
Update: iOS 14.5 is now available. Our full coverage: Apple Releases iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 With Apple Watch iPhone Unlocking, Dual-SIM 5G Support, Apple Maps Accident Crowdsourcing and Tons More How to Unlock Your iPhone With Your Apple Watch When Wearing a Mask Apple Releases watchOS 7.4 With iPhone Unlocking, Apple Fitness+ AirPlay 2 Support Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 With M1...
apple watch ecg wrist

Apple Watch ECG Feature Coming to Australia and Vietnam Next Week

Wednesday April 21, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday seeded the release candidate of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, and in the process revealed that the Apple Watch ECG feature is coming to additional countries very soon. Along with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, the official public version of watchOS 7.4 is set to be released next week, and Apple Watch users who install it in Australia and...
14

Apple Seeds Eighth Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the eighth betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the seventh iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
Unlock With Apple Watch Feature

Apple Explains How Unlocking iPhone With Apple Watch Works

Tuesday April 27, 2021 1:06 pm PDT by
With the launch of iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, Apple introduced a feature that's designed to allow people wearing masks to unlock their iPhones with a paired and authenticated Apple Watch, alleviating the need to continually enter a passcode. Apple has published a support document outlining how the feature works and the requirements that enable it to function. Apple says that the Apple Watch...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the Apple Watch iPhone Unlocking Feature in iOS 14.5

Monday February 1, 2021 2:35 pm PST by
Apple today released the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 beta updates for developers, and included in the new software is a feature that's designed to make it easier to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask by leveraging the Apple Watch. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. An opt-in setting lets you turn on a feature that allows an iPhone to be unlocked with both Face ID and...

Popular Stories

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...