This past April, Apple
disseminated iOS 14.5 which included the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature. Apple created it for those face mask wearers who could not use Face ID because of the mask and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of punching in their Passcode every time they needed to unlock their phone. Originally, Apple made a change so that Face ID could determine when someone was wearing a mask and open the Passcode screen automatically.
To make things even easier, Apple created “Unlock with Apple Watch” which allows an iPhone to unlock automatically if the handset’s user is wearing an unlocked Apple Watch
. Not only would this prevent face masks from forcing users to tap in their Passcodes several times a day, but it might also have led several iPhone users to run out and purchase an Apple Watch.
Some owners of iPhone 13
series handsets have discovered that there is a problem that prevents them from using the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature. These users are receiving a notification that says “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch.” It adds “Make sure that your Apple Watch is unlocked and on your wrist, and your iPhone is unlocked.” The notification also gives users an option to “Cancel” the unlocking or to “Try Again.”
Notification sent to alert users that they can’t unlock their iPhone 13 series phones with Unlock with Apple Watch
Apple has posted a new support page
) that says, “Apple has identified an issue where Unlock with Apple Watch may not work with iPhone 13 devices. You might see “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch.”
More importantly, the support page explains that Apple plans on fixing the issue in an upcoming software update. Apple also adds that “Until the update is available, you can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13. To turn off Unlock with Apple Watch, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
This issue seems to affect only the latest iPhone 13 series handsets.