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The ‌iPhone 13‌ initially shipped with an outdated build of iOS 15, so customers experiencing the bug should first ensure they're running the latest ‌iOS 15‌ and watchOS 8 version.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
12 months 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
12 months ago
Touch ID still works flawlessly everytime on my 8+ running iOS 15 while wearing a mask.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
filchermcurr Avatar
12 months 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
12 months ago
Apple, stop releasing beta software to stable channel!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BadMelonFarmer Avatar
12 months ago
Ahhhhh, so it’s not just me then.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SactoGuy18 Avatar
12 months 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

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 3 trio

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 3 May Finally Be Discontinued Upon Its Fifth Anniversary in Q3 2022

Monday March 21, 2022 6:10 am PDT by
Apple may finally discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3 when it reaches five years of age in the third quarter of 2022, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet, Kuo said that the Apple Watch Series 3 may reach the end of its life in the third quarter of 2022 because its computing power will not be able to meet the requirements of a new version of watchOS. The Apple Watch...
apple watch abc action news

Apple Watch Saves Woman's Life With Feature She'd Never Heard Of

Wednesday March 23, 2022 1:59 am PDT by
An Apple Watch has been credited with saving a woman's life after it contacted emergency services when she fell, leading to a lung cancer diagnosis, ABC Action News reports. 71-year-old grandmother Raylene Hackenwerth, from Saint Petersburg, Florida, fell in early March, triggering her Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature. The Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature can tell when a wearer has...
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

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....
ios 15

Apple Stops Signing iOS 15.3 Following iOS 15.3.1 Release, Downgrading No Longer Possible

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:50 am PST by
Following the release of iOS 15.3.1 on February 10, Apple has stopped signing iOS 15.3, the previously available version of iOS that came out in late January. Because iOS 15.3 is no longer being signed, it is not possible to downgrade to that version of iOS if you've updated to iOS 15.3.1. Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 With Face ID Mask Unlock, New Emoji, Universal Control, and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:45 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 come a month after the launch of iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1. The iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To...
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,...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Planning to Hold iPhone 14 Event on September 7

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:51 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to hold its first fall event on Wednesday, September 7, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The event will focus on the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to get few changes, but the iPhone 14 Pro models will include updated camera technology, the removal of the notch in favor of a pill-shaped and hole-punch cutout, an A16...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 With Bug Fixes

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:50 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 15.6.1, minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems initially released in September 2021. iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 come a month after Apple released iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 with new Live Sports features and bug fixes. The iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
Apple Watch Series 3 v 8 1

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: 20 Major New Features and Changes for Customers Upgrading

Tuesday August 16, 2022 6:52 am PDT by
It's crazy to think about, but next month will mark five years since Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite being a severely antiquated smartwatch, the Series 3 has remained at the bottom of Apple's lineup for $199. Suppose you're still holding on to your Apple Watch Series 3. In that case, this article will list all the major new features and changes you'll get if you decide to...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...