Update of March 5, 2021: watchOS 7.4 beta 3 is also now available for public beta users.
The third developer beta of the upcoming watchOS 7.4 software update for Apple Watch is now available. IPhone users will especially appreciate this update as it allows the Apple Watch to replace Face ID and passcode when wearing a face covering.
Here’s how Apple describes the feature in the Face ID and Passcode settings on the iPhone:
IPhone can use your Apple Watch to unlock when Face ID detects a fact with a mask. Your Apple Watch should be nearby, on your wrist, unlocked, and password protected.
In practice, this feature comes in extremely handy when you frequently check your iPhone in a public place where masks are needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, you can check your shopping list on your phone at the grocery store without entering your passcode a dozen times if you’re wearing an Apple Watch with a passcode. If you unlock your Apple Watch through your iPhone with Face ID before wearing your mask, you can actually skip the step of entering a password on either device.
While the feature is certainly a priority as the world works together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it has practical uses in other situations where your face is partially obscured, such as wearing a helmet or wearing a helmet. face mask for professional or cultural purposes.
watchOS 7.4 for Apple Watch is currently in beta. iOS 14.5 for iPhone is required to use the unlock feature. Apple Fitness + also works with AirPlay without live metrics like heart rate and activity data with upcoming versions of watchOS and iOS. Both software updates will likely be available later this month or early next month.
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