iOS 14.5 Public Beta 1—How To Unlock Your iPhone With Your Apple Watch

It’s been a couple of weeks, but there’s a new public beta in the wild for Apple Beta Program participants! iOS 14.5 Public Beta 1, along with the watchOS 7.4 Public Beta, has one killer feature that everyone is going to want right now—unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch when you’re wearing a mask. 

So How Do I Enable Apple Watch Unlocking?

First you need to be enrolled in both the iOS and watchOS beta programs. If your watch doesn’t have the latest beta build (watchOS 7.4 as of this writing), then you won’t be able to unlock the feature. 

If you’re all updated, head to Settings > Face ID and Passcode and scroll down to the new Unlock with Apple Watch section. Toggle on the Apple Watch switch and you’re all set.

Now, if you have a passcode-enabled Apple Watch unlocked on your wrist, when you glance at your iPhone while wearing a mask, your watch will unlock it and show a message on the watch display that it did so. That message will also let you lock your iPhone, at which point you’ll have to use your PIN or Face ID to unlock your iPhone. 

Keep in mind, this doesn’t work with any other Face ID authentication (like unlocking apps or verifying purchases). It only works for unlocking your iPhone. It also doesn’t work if your watch is in Sleep (as in, going to bed) mode. 

What Else is New?

While Apple Watch unlocking is the banner feature for iOS 14.5, it’s by no means the only upgrade in this release. Looking at all the features coming in this release, iOS 14.5 has the potential to be iOS 14’s biggest release yet.

  • The other headline-grabbing feature of iOS 14.5 is turning on app attribution. Now, when you launch an app that collects your activity data or tracks you around your iDevice, you have the option of disallowing that intrusion (as you should). Some companies, like Facebook, who’ve made their money off selling activity data (that consumers unknowingly agreed to share in the legal agreements that no one ever reads) are rather peeved. Personally, I fully support it as it gives folks who might not have realized what they were agreeing to a chance to change their minds. 
  • All you frequent flyers on the…