You’re not alone if your iPhone 13 won’t unlock when you’re wearing a mask.
So you got a brand new iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, or 13 Pro. Congratulations! Are the new and improved cameras a hit with you? The pro displays with a refresh rate of 120 Hz? Or are you annoyed that your $1,000 iPhone won’t unlock when you’re wearing a mask, despite the fact that your old iPhone did? Let us assist you in resolving the “Unlock with Apple Watch” issue.
What is ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’?
During the height of the pandemic, Apple released iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 with this feature as a solution for unlocking our Face ID iPhones while wearing a mask. Your iPhone won’t reject you for wearing a mask if you enable the feature; instead, it will take a partial face scan and check in with your Apple Watch. The iPhone unlocks when your watch is unlocked and on your wrist.
It’s a fantastic feature for these masked-up times we’re living in. When testing the iPhone 13, however, it appears that Apple was thinking “the pandemic will be over by then,” as the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature simply does not work.
How to fix the ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ bug
Luckily, there is a fix for this issue; Apple has a patch for this bug baked into iOS 15.0.1. The company officially released this version to customers on Friday, Oct. 1, two weeks after iOS 15 hit the scene.
To fix this annoying bug, go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone, then follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the update. “Unlock with Apple Watch” should work again after the computer reboots. Remember that you’ll need to enter your passcode the first time you unlock your iPhone after a restart.
Alternatively, download the iOS 15.1 and watchOS 8.1 betas
Users discovered that the betas for iOS 15.1 and watchOS 8.1 appeared to fix the “Unlock with Apple Watch” bug before Apple released iOS 15.0.1 to the public. You can download the iPhone and Apple Watch betas if you’re interested.
Just keep in mind that using betas is risky because they are unstable, in-development software. If you install beta software on your devices, you may encounter bugs that make it difficult to use them. Removing the beta from iOS can result in data loss, whereas watchOS does not allow you to remove it at all.
1. Download the developer betas
Developers usually get beta updates for iOS before public testers. There’s nothing stopping you from becoming a registered developer, aside from the $100 annual fee.
It is, however, designed for public testers. The only difference is where you get the beta; instead of going to the public beta website, you’ll get your profile from Apple’s developer download page.
2. Download the public betas
If you haven’t already, sign up for the public betas. The software is identical to the developer betas, but they are released one day (sometimes several days) later.