- The Apple Watch is the highest-selling wearable in the world but works only with the iPhone so far.
- While both the iPhone and Apple Watch run on different operating systems, they belong to the same Apple ecosystem, which means they can interact with each other on many levels.
- One of the handiest ways in which the Apple Watch and the iPhone it is connected to can interact with each other is in unlocking each other. Yes, you can forget about entering passwords. We tell you how.
Apple has a pretty tight-knit ecosystem that is very well-built and connected. This means even though most Apple devices have their own separate OS, these interfaces can communicate amongst themselves quite effortlessly. These free-flowing conversations between different Apple UIs also give different devices some control over each other, allowing one device to carry out a certain command on another device.
In simpler terms, thanks to the ecosystem Apple has built around its devices, you will be able to perform a particular function on one device using another. One such feature is the ability to unlock your iPhone using your Apple Watch or your Apple Watch using your iPhone. All you have to do is follow these simple steps, and unlocking your devices will not always require you to reach for them:
Unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch using FaceID
Apple added this functionality to the iPhone and Apple Watch during peak pandemic times when wearing a mask was mandatory and not an obligation. This feature only works with iPhones that come with FaceID, which means only iPhone X and above (not counting the iPhone SE) come with this feature. Secondly, your iPhone needs to have iOS 14.5 or later, and your Apple Watch needs to be running on watchOS 7.4 or later for you to access this feature.
While turning this feature on involves just three simple steps, there are a few things you have to know before getting to the unlocking part.
The feature requires you to have an active Face ID on your iPhone, and it is only when your iPhone is unable to identify your face to unlock the iPhone for some reason (it may be a mask or some obtrusion) you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone.
Secondly, you have to have a passcode set on your Apple Watch as well. To use the feature you have to ensure that your watch is unlocked on your hand and wrist detection is also enabled. You have to keep your iPhone and Apple Watch within 33 feet so that the feature can work, and you have to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled on both your devices. All of this may seem like a lot of work for something very small, but if you wear a mask a lot and do not have the patience to type in the password every time, this can be a very handy alternative.
Step 1: Get to Face ID and Passcode
On your iPhone, you first have to visit the Settings app to enable this feature. Once you open the app, scroll down and look for the FaceID and Passcode options. Your iPhone will ask you to put in your password in order to get in. Enter it, and you will be in the Face ID and Passcode zone.
Step 2: Give Apple Watch the key to your iPhone
Once you get to Face ID and Passcode, you have to scroll down and look for the Unlock with Apple Watch section. Here you will find the name of your paired Apple Watch and a toggle next to it. All you have to do is tap on the toggle, and you will then be able to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch.
Step 3: Tap on the lock on your Apple Watch
After you have enabled the feature, you will only be able to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch when your iPhone fails to do so multiple times. Once that happens, your watch will vibrate briefly, and a small lock will appear on its display. All you have to do is tap on it, and your iPhone will be unlocked.
Unlock your Apple Watch with your iPhone
Now that we are through with how one can unlock their iPhone by using an Apple Watch, it’s time to get into the vice-versa zone. This means along with the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch; you also have the option to unlock your Apple Watch using your iPhone. This will save you from the trouble of entering the passcode on that tiny display to unlock it. And doing so is pretty simple too. Just follow these easy steps, and you will have a lock-free Apple Watch on your wrist:
Step 1: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi? You are on!
Just like in part one of this article, enabling this feature also requires you to turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. And to get this done you can just head to Settings or get to the Control Center and turn on Bluetooth and Wi-fi. Also, make sure that your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone.
Step 2: Head to the Watch app
Watch is a native app, which means it comes pre-installed on your iPhone. All you have to do is scroll through your list of apps and find the Watch app.
Step 3: Give the iPhone the unlocking power
Once you have found the Watch app on your iPhone, you have to scroll down to Passcode and open it. Head to the feature called Unlock with iPhone. Tap on the toggle to turn it green, and you will then be able to unlock your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
Step 4: Tap on the lock icon to cancel
Once you have turned the feature on, as long as your iPhone is in close proximity to your Apple Watch (about 33 feet), whenever you unlock your iPhone and if your Apple Watch on your Wrist is locked, you will get a banner notification on your iPhone briefly with a lock button. You can tap on the button to cancel the unlocking, but if you want to unlock your Apple Watch, you can just let it be, and after a very brief moment, your Apple Watch will get unlocked, and a banner on the iPhone will show that it has been unlocked.