Apple Releases Third watchOS 7.4 Public Beta With iPhone Unlocking Feature

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to public beta testers, with the new beta coming two weeks after the second public beta and a day after the release of the third developer beta.

7
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 proper profile from Apple's beta software website. To update to the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.

Alongside iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 introduces a new "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature that lets an ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when you're wearing a mask, alleviating the need to enter a passcode to unlock the ‌iPhone‌.

iphone apple watch unlock
‌Face ID‌ does not work when wearing a mask, but this new Apple Watch feature provides an easy but still secure way to access the ‌iPhone‌ without the hassle of a passcode. It's similar to the Apple Watch unlocking on Mac and can be enabled in the Settings app under ‌Face ID‌ & Passcode.

An unlocked Apple Watch paired with ‌Face ID‌ can unlock the ‌iPhone‌ when a mask is worn, but it's only for mask usage. The Apple Watch cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases, nor can it be used to unlock apps that require a ‌Face ID‌ scan. In these situations, the mask will need to be removed or a passcode/password will need to be used instead.

iphone apple watch unlock 2
When the Apple Watch unlocks the ‌iPhone‌, you'll feel a haptic tap on the wrist and will receive a notification on the watch, similar to how it works when using the watch to unlock a Mac.

For those who use Apple Fitness+, the watchOS 7.4 update combined with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+, so workouts can be streamed to an ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled TV or set-top box. Apple Watch metrics do not show up on the screen when AirPlayed, however, and that feature is limited to ‌iPhone‌/iPad/Apple TV.

watchOS 7.4 is going to be available in a beta capacity for several weeks, with Apple planning to release the update in the early spring.

Related Roundups: watchOS 10, watchOS 11
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 3

Monday July 8, 2024 12:54 pm PDT by
With the third betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 that Apple released today, there are additional tweaks to a number of features like Dark Mode icons, the Photos app, emoji in Messages, and more, with Apple appearing to be preparing for the launch of Apple Intelligence. Apple will continue updating iOS 18‌ over the course of the next couple of months, refining the beta prior to its launch....
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 'Slim': Everything We Know So Far

Friday July 5, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
In 2025, Apple is expected to discontinue the iPhone "Plus" device in its iPhone 17 lineup to make way for an iPhone "Slim" – although it may not actually be called this when it debuts in the fall of next year. Even though the iPhone 16 series launch is still over two months away, when you consider that we learned about larger displays on the iPhone 16 Pro models way back in May 2023, rumors...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...

Top Rated Comments

SFjohn Avatar
44 months ago

Unlocking your phone with your watch is a great feature. But I feel like that feature is way too late. Cause most of the states will start opening up again. And the need for that fea will be moot.
Once your vaccinated you can still catch and spread it. It will be a long time before everyone is vaccinated, if ever. Yes, even in the good old USA. We will be wearing masks for the next year at least.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sclawis300 Avatar
44 months ago

Works half of the time, but I’m not sure I’m taking this feature for too long: it unlocks the phone if someone is looking at it. Meaning, anybody (from legal security personnel to bad actors) could force their easy way into my phone without me exercising my rights.
They can force you to use a finger print or look at it to open it without your permission too. Password is the only way to go.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G.McGilli Avatar
44 months ago
I've been using watch unlock a hundred times a day in NYC and it's been flawless as long as you look at the faceid camera. if it can't see my eyes - or if I use a hand etc instead of a mask it doesn't work for me. Seems to detect that you are looking at the phone and have a mask or similar on.

That it took this long for this feature is insane... can never go back to not having it now.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jsamuelson Avatar
44 months ago

Series 3 battery has been noticeably worse for me on these betas. Anyone else notice that?
Latest beta is much better, thankfully.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ErikGrim Avatar
44 months ago
Series 3 battery has been noticeably worse for me on these betas. Anyone else notice that?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peepo Avatar
44 months ago
The first beta worked with mask to unlock reliabley, last one was hit and miss. Hopefully when I install this later it will be consistent again.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)