Unlock your iPhone with masks on, utilizing Apple Watch — coming quickly

A female pedestrian wearing a protective mask uses her cell phone as she walks past an Apple iPhone advertisement on Orchard Road, Singapore.

Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple is testing new iPhone software that will allow you to unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask. The function was launched on Monday in beta in new test software for the Apple Watch and the iPhone and should be available in spring.

Currently, Apple users either have to enter a passcode or slide their mask down to unlock iPhones with FaceID. Now if you wear an Apple Watch, face recognition works the same as without a mask. Just look at the phone to unlock it.

This feature only allows users to unlock the phone and will not work for purchases that still require a passcode. This is similar to how the feature works on a Mac, which you can automatically unlock if you have your Apple Watch nearby.

Apple typically tests features for weeks or months in beta before they’re available to everyone. So expect them sometime in the spring.

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