2020 has been a strange year and has spread through 2021 with the need to wear masks everywhere you go. This has seriously hampered those who rely on Apple’s Face ID for things like unlocking their phones or using Apple Pay.
IPhone users are wondering what Apple would do to make life easier. There were rumors that the iPhone 12 was going to have a fingerprint scanner, similar to the redesigned iPad Air. But these rumors turned out to be nothing more than steam. But all hope is not lost.
New features in iOS 14.5
In early February, Apple released the first Developer Preview for iOS 14.5. At the same time, the company introduced new features, while leaving clues about future versions of features. Notably, iOS 14.5 brings native support for Sony DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers for gamers.
Additionally, app developers are now required to notify you whenever your random advertising IDs are used. This has received bribes from some apps and companies before, but it’s another way to make sure your information is private and secure.
The Apple card family has yet to be officially announced, but iOS 14.5 includes code that mentions it. Essentially, an Apple card holder will be able to create a “family”, allowing multiple people to use the same account. The primary account holder will be able to invite certain users, as well as set spending limits.
How to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch
Arguably the biggest feature that comes with the iOS 14.5 Developer Preview is the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch. This is something that has been in demand for some time now. However, this was only magnified after iPhone owners around the world needed to wear masks in public.
Before we dive into how you can unlock iPhone with Apple Watch, there are a few pre-requisites you should know. Most importantly, you need to run Developer Preview or the iOS 14.5 Public Beta. Here are the other requirements for it to work:
- iPhone X or later
- Apple Watch Series 3 or later
- IPhone compatible with iOS 14.5 or later
- Apple Watch running watchOS 7.4 or later
If you meet all the criteria and your iPhone and watch are updated, here’s how to set everything up:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and press Face ID and access code.
- Enter your password.
- Under Unlock with Apple Watch, Push the button Sure position.
This is extremely similar to what happens when you wear an Apple Watch and want to unlock your Mac without entering a password. When your iPhone detects that you are wearing a mask, your watch will vibrate and display a notification that the unlocking process is complete.
The only problem is that you will not be able to use this method when trying to buy / download apps from the App Store or authenticate Apple Pay. But we hope that changes will be made before the release of the final version of iOS 14.5.
When will iOS 14.5 be released?
As is the case with these “point” releases for iOS, there is no way to really tell when the final version will be available to everyone. However, based on Apple’s recent release schedule, we expect to see iOS 14.5 coming to everyone in early spring.
Have you downloaded the beta version of iOS 14.5 and configured the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below. Also let us know if there are any other features that haven’t already been announced or found elsewhere!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the United States.
He’s written for a variety of sites over the years including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while working in the moonlight as a freelance writer at night.