iPhone 13 Users Experiencing 'Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch' Bug With Mask Unlocking

Several iPhone 13 users have taken to online forums and social media to report that after receiving their brand new iPhones, they're experiencing a bug preventing it from communicating with their Apple Watch, making what's supposed to be a seamless experience an annoyance.

iphone 13 apple watch bug
As outlined on Reddit, after receiving an ‌iPhone 13‌, some customers cannot toggle on the "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature, allowing users to unlock their iPhones while wearing a mask thanks to their Apple Watch. When attempting to activate the feature, some customers are prompted with an "Unable to communicate with Apple Watch" prompt, with no clear solution.

Posts and comments on Reddit suggest that typical problem-solving solutions aren't working, such as restarting both devices and even unpairing and repairing the Apple Watch to the iPhone. Posts on Twitter and Reddit indicate that the issue is widespread amongst new ‌iPhone 13‌ users, but at least so far, we aren't seeing reports of other ‌iPhone‌ models being impacted.

The ‌iPhone 13‌ initially shipped with an outdated build of iOS 15, so customers experiencing the bug should first ensure they're running the latest ‌iOS 15‌ and watchOS 8 version. Still, even then, reports suggest that does little to amend the issues.

The new bug joins a growing list of bugs related to ‌iOS 15‌ and the new iPhones, including a bug that may result in Apple Music being inoperative after a restore, a bug that may cause widgets to reset, and a bug impacting reported iPhone and iPad storage.

Apple is currently testing iOS and iPadOS 15.1, but given the growing number of issues experienced by users, the company may decide to release iOS 15.0.1 before its first significant dot update for iOS and iPadOS 15. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the bug, and we'll update this if we hear back.

Related Roundups: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Goldfrapp Avatar
18 weeks ago
That’s because today is Friday and your iPhone 13 is secretly trying to communicate with the Witch and not the Watch.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sicariis Avatar
18 weeks ago
Touch ID still works flawlessly everytime on my 8+ running iOS 15 while wearing a mask.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
filchermcurr Avatar
18 weeks ago
Poor Apple. :( They're only a small $2 trillion dollar company. They can't be expected to test that things work before releasing them! We expect too much.

Joking aside, before people start screaming at me about the complexity of software, I know. However... I also know that it would be easy enough to have a list of major features, say, one that includes unlocking with the watch or 'using Apple Music'. And to have a small team who is given the list. This team, we could call them something fancy sounding like "Quality Assurance", would then test these features to ensure that they work as expected.

I dunno. Just a crazy thought I had.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
singularity0993 Avatar
18 weeks ago
Apple, stop releasing beta software to stable channel!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BadMelonFarmer Avatar
18 weeks ago
Ahhhhh, so it’s not just me then.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SactoGuy18 Avatar
18 weeks ago
ANOTHER reason why I won't upgrade to iOS 15 until they get the first bug fix release.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

FaceID Masked Triad

iOS 15.1 Beta 2 Fixes Bug Preventing iPhone 13 Users From Unlocking With Apple Watch When Masked

Tuesday September 28, 2021 10:54 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second beta of iOS 15.1 to developers, and the update includes a fix for an annoying bug that's been affecting iPhone 13 owners who also have an Apple Watch. With beta 2, the Unlock with Apple Watch feature that was broken has been fixed, and an authenticated Apple Watch can once again be used to unlock an iPhone 13 model when wearing a mask. Prior to the update,...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases iOS 15.0.1 With Fix for Apple Watch Unlocking Bug on iPhone 13 Models

Friday October 1, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.0.1, which is the first official update to the iOS 15 operating system that was released in September. iOS 15.0.1 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 15, and it is a bug fix update. The iOS 15.0.1 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings...
iOS 15 General Feature Red ORange

iOS 15 Suffering From Several Bugs as Adoption Rises to Nearly 20%

Thursday September 30, 2021 9:02 am PDT by
iOS 15 adoption has reached an estimated 19.3% since the software update was released September 20, according to mobile analytics company Mixpanel. Mixpanel measures iOS adoption based on visits to websites and apps that use its mobile analytics SDKs, so the data is not official. Apple has yet to share iOS 15 adoption stats, having last reported an 85% adoption rate for iOS 14 back in June. ...
safari icon blue banner

Apple Prepares Fix for Safari Bug Allowing Websites to Decipher Your Recent Browsing Activity

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:28 pm PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on a bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB that can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. Apple has since prepared a fix for the bug, according to a WebKit commit on GitHub, but the fix will not be available to users until Apple releases macOS Monterey, ...
iphone 13 apple watch bug

Apple to Fix Issue Preventing iPhone 13 Users From Unlocking With Apple Watch in Upcoming Software Update

Sunday September 26, 2021 6:57 am PDT by
Apple today said an issue preventing some iPhone 13 users from using the Unlock with Apple Watch feature will be fixed in an upcoming software update. In a support document, Apple said affected users can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use their passcode to unlock their iPhone 13 until the software update is released. The feature, which is designed to let you unlock your iPhone while...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Some Apple Watch Users Experiencing Charging Issues After Updating to watchOS 8.3

Wednesday December 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
A number of Apple Watch Series 7 owners have been experiencing issues with charging after updating to the latest watchOS 8.3 software, according to reports on the MacRumors forums, Reddit, and the Apple Support Communities. Many of the complaints are related to third-party Apple Watch chargers, with users finding that these devices no longer work to charge their Apple Watches. From Reddit:Upd...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...