Apple Releases watchOS 7.4 With iPhone Unlocking, Apple Fitness+ AirPlay 2 Support

Apple today released watchOS 7.4, the fourth major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September 2020. watchOS 7.4 comes three months after watchOS 7.3, an update that introduced a new watch face, a Time to Walk feature, and expanded ECG availability.

7
‌‌The watchOS 7.4 update‌‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.

Paired with iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 brings 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
Because ‌Face ID‌ does not work when wearing a mask, it can be a hassle to use an ‌iPhone‌ with a mask on. The new Apple Watch feature provides an easy but still secure way to access the ‌iPhone‌ without hassling with a passcode. It's almost identical to 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 the entire face cannot be covered and the eyes still need to be visible. Apple Watch mask authentication can't be used for 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 to let you know when your ‌iPhone‌ has been unlocked, similar to how it works when using the watch to unlock a Mac. There is a proximity feature as well, to ensure that you must be near your ‌iPhone‌ for it to unlock with the Apple Watch.

For Apple Fitness+ users, the watchOS 7.4 update 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 introduces an option to choose a Bluetooth device type in settings to correctly identify audio notifications, and it introduces ECG support and irregular heart rhythm notifications in Australia and Vietnam. Apple's full release notes with additional features are listed below:

watchOS 7.4 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes, including:

- Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask
- Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
- Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices
- Support for the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in Australia and Vietnam
- Support for irregular heart rhythm notifications in Australia and Vietnam

More information on the watchOS 7 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models can be found in our watchOS 7 roundup.

Related Roundup: watchOS 9

Top Rated Comments

javanate Avatar
21 months ago
Time to wipe and reset my watch again :( Series 3 doesn't have room for updates
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheSkywalker77 Avatar
21 months ago

Time to wipe and reset my watch again :( Series 3 doesn't have room for updates
Beat me to the comment!!

It’s really sad how poorly the Series 3 has aged. If only I waited one more year to get a watch I would’ve gone with the SE.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny842003 Avatar
21 months ago
Got my series 4 on launch day, finally get to use the ECG.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
beermode Avatar
21 months ago
Annoying to have the Series 3. Perfectly stable and useful, only hampered during upgrade time. Like it's some sort of psy ops to see if I get annoyed into buying a newer model.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Killbill2 Avatar
21 months ago
Yay! ECG in Australia!

Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DinkThifferent Avatar
21 months ago

Beat me to the comment!!

It’s really sad how poorly the Series 3 has aged. If only I waited one more year to get a watch I would’ve gone with the SE.
And this update is even worse, now my Series 3 needs THREE gigabytes of free space instead of the 2,5GB of the previous update (that i skipped!).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.4.2 With Bug Fixes

Thursday February 10, 2022 9:56 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.4.2, a minor update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.4.2 comes two weeks after the release of watchOS 8.4, an update that added a fix for an ongoing charging issue. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.4.2 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new...
7

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers

Wednesday March 31, 2021 10:02 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week release of the fifth 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 configuration ...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.4.1 With Bug Fixes for Apple Watch Series 4 and Later

Tuesday February 1, 2022 1:18 pm PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.4.1, a minor update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.4.1 comes a week after the release of watchOS 8.4, an update that added a fix for an ongoing charging issue. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.4.1 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.3 With Apple Music Voice Plan and App Privacy Report

Monday December 13, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.3, the second major update to the watchOS 8 operating system that first launched in September. watchOS 8.3 comes more than a month after the launch of watchOS 8.1, and it is not known why Apple skipped version 8.2. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.3 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To...
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...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 8.5 to Developers

Tuesday February 15, 2022 10:02 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a week after the release of the second watchOS 8.5 beta. To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5‌‌‌ can be downloaded through 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...
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...

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...