Apple has launched the first public beta releases for iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, giving iPhone and Apple Watch owners the chance to try the new workout for Face ID while wearing a mask.
The new tool enables Face ID to work, even when the wearer is masked-up, provided they’re also wearing an unlocked Apple Watch. It’s a workaround, but it sure beats having to input your passcode every time.
Normally, waiting a few weeks for the full release is the best option for a primary phone, but if you’re just so sick of using your passcode for Apple Pay and struggling to unlock your handset in a pinch, then here’s a ready-made solution.
Once both betas are installed, you’ll be able to go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Unlock With Apple Watch to toggle the setting on and off.
“iPhone can use Apple Watch to unlock when Face ID detects a face with a mask. Your Apple Watch must be nearby, on your wrist, uncocked and protected by a passcode,” the setting in iOS 14.5 reads.
In order to test-drive the feature before the full public roll out, you’ll need to an iPhone and Apple Watch and to sign up for the Apple public beta software platform, which enables you to preview releases during the test phase.
If you’re not already a member, you can sign-up with your Apple ID. Here you will be able to enrol eligible devices. From there you’ll be encouraged to install a profile on your device that enables you to install the betas moving forward. For the Apple Watch, this is handled by the iPhone.
Once the profiles are installed, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update as normal. We would recommend backing up the device wherever possible before enrolling in the program and installing beta software, but there have been no major instances of bricking with these public betas in recent times.