Soon you’ll be able to unlock your iPhone with a mask on — if you’re wearing an Apple Watch

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask uses her mobile phone while walking past an Apple iPhone advertisement at Orchard Road in Singapore.

Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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

Currently, Apple users either need to enter a passcode or slide their mask down to unlock iPhones with FaceID. Now, if you’re wearing an Apple Watch, Face ID will work the same as it does when you don’t have a mask on. Just look at the phone to unlock it.

This feature will only let users unlock the phone and won’t work for purchases, which will still require a passcode. That’s similar to how the feature works on a Mac, which you can already unlock automatically if you wear your Apple Watch nearby.

Apple typically tests features in beta for several weeks or a couple of months before they’re rolled out to everyone, so expect it sometime around the spring.

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