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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming two weeks release of the third beta and over a month after the launch of watchOS 7.3 with "Time to Walk" functionality, expanded ECG availability, and a new Unity watch face.

7.4-on-Apple-Watch-feature-copy.jpg

To install the ‌watchOS 7.4 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7.4 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated ‌Apple Watch‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.

To update to the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌.

Alongside iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 introduces a new "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature that lets an iPhone with Face ID use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when you're wearing a mask, alleviating the need to enter a passcode to unlock the iPhone.

iphone-apple-watch-unlock.jpg

Face ID does not work when wearing a mask, but this new Apple Watch feature provides an easy but still secure way to access the iPhone without the hassle of a passcode. It's similar to the Apple Watch unlocking on Mac and can be enabled in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode.

An unlocked Apple Watch paired with Face ID can unlock the iPhone when a mask is worn, but it's only for mask usage. The Apple Watch cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases, nor can it be used to unlock apps that require a Face ID scan. In these situations, the mask will need to be removed or a passcode/password will need to be used instead.

iphone-apple-watch-unlock-2.jpg

When the Apple Watch unlocks the iPhone, you'll feel a haptic tap on the wrist and will receive a notification on the watch, similar to how it works when using the watch to unlock a Mac.

For those who use Apple Fitness+, the watchOS 7.4 update combined with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+, so workouts can be streamed to an AirPlay 2-enabled TV or set-top box. Apple Watch metrics do not show up on the screen when AirPlayed, however, and that feature is limited to iPhone/iPad/Apple TV.

Apple has said that watchOS 7.4 will be released in the early spring, with spring set to start on March 20, so there are still a few weeks of beta testing expected.

Article Link: Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]
 
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azentropy

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2002
3,340
3,477
Surprise
I hope it fixes the movement/exercise/stand issues the last beta has. Been super frustrating keep my streaks going!

EDIT: They made it worse rather than fix the issues in the last beta and now even my unlock iPhone feature isn't working as well as it did in the previous beta releases.
 
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pauljdurack

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2019
9
1
Are there any details about series support for the unlock with Apple Watch feature? Much of the watchOS 7 functionality is truncated for the watch series 3, I’m guessing that will be true for this feature too
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
23,138
29,265
So using AW to unlock an iPhone when wearing a mask is very nice but I wish it extended to Apple Pay. If I’m wearing a mask and try to use Apple Pay with my phone it doesn’t work. It asks me to unlock with passcode. Is there some security reason it can’t work with Apple Pay?
 

Apple Mac Daz

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2011
2,010
1,477
Manchester
So using AW to unlock an iPhone when wearing a mask is very nice but I wish it extended to Apple Pay. If I’m wearing a mask and try to use Apple Pay with my phone it doesn’t work. It asks me to unlock with passcode. Is there some security reason it can’t work with Apple Pay?
just use the watch if it’s on your wrist so much easier
 

FishyFish

macrumors demi-god
Sep 18, 2015
274
595
West Coast
Install was buttery smooth. Complications are working great, and all of my text messages are still present. I haven’t done a workout yet, but on first glance this looks absolutely rock solid and ready to release! Nice job, Apple!
 
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Braderunner

Suspended
Oct 2, 2015
1,488
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Install was buttery smooth. Complications are working great, and all of my text messages are still present. I haven’t done a workout yet, but on first glance this looks absolutely rock solid and ready to release! Nice job, Apple!
"Looks" rock solid. That's all I need to know! ?
 
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jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
723
410
They've slightly modified the haptic feedback for unlocking iPhone with mask.

The old haptic feedback felt (and sounded) like a moth had landed on my wrist, which freaked me out!
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
11,817
5,353
So using AW to unlock an iPhone when wearing a mask is very nice but I wish it extended to Apple Pay. If I’m wearing a mask and try to use Apple Pay with my phone it doesn’t work. It asks me to unlock with passcode. Is there some security reason it can’t work with Apple Pay?
The security reason is that any masked face will unlock the phone. However, if you have a Watch, use that for Apple Pay; it's faster.
 
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darcyf

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2011
773
1,252
Toronto, ON
I hope it fixes the movement/exercise/stand issues the last beta has. Been super frustrating keep my streaks going!
This is my biggest fear in going beta with the watch. The mask unlock feature is tempting, but I’ve closed all my rings every day since I got this in late November and there’s no way I’m jeopardizing my path to a full year if there’s a chance the beta could mess with it. Thanks for the heads up, and I hope you’re still able to keep your streaks going!!
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
23,138
29,265
The security reason is that any masked face will unlock the phone. However, if you have a Watch, use that for Apple Pay; it's faster.
Ah didn’t think of that. I do use my watch most of the time. Just during winter when I have lots of layers on it’s easier to use my phone.
 

Johnny907

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2014
1,786
3,070
I hope it fixes the movement/exercise/stand issues the last beta has. Been super frustrating keep my streaks going!
+1 I do the same routine daily, for about the last three years, and with minor variations in how hard I push myself my metrics stay pretty much the same. But with the last beta everything took about a 20% drop, which was bizarre. Suddenly everything was somehow worth less. I thought I was nuts until I noticed comments from other users reporting the same thing. I just updated a little bit ago and am getting ready to head out for the usual 5 mile run so we will see if the issue has been fixed.
 

MrMaxwell

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2016
69
242
DownUnder
This is my biggest fear in going beta with the watch. The mask unlock feature is tempting, but I’ve closed all my rings every day since I got this in late November and there’s no way I’m jeopardizing my path to a full year if there’s a chance the beta could mess with it. Thanks for the heads up, and I hope you’re still able to keep your streaks going!!
I really wish Apple added a feature to 'pause' your streaks so people don't lose out when daily life happens eg. why should you lose your streak if you have to visit hospital, get the flu, etc? Yes it could manipulated but who cares?
 

Johnny907

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2014
1,786
3,070
Welp, it is indeed different: now it’s even worse. I run the same course every day with minimal deviation, but for some reason when I got finished my distance run was magically a quarter of a mile shorter than normal, and my active calorie burn was down more even more than previous. The weird thing is I was pushing today so my pace was increased over the last couple days but active calorie burn was noticeably down.
Something is definitely not right with activity tracking.
 

WildstarBR2020

macrumors regular
May 7, 2020
174
159
So using AW to unlock an iPhone when wearing a mask is very nice but I wish it extended to Apple Pay. If I’m wearing a mask and try to use Apple Pay with my phone it doesn’t work. It asks me to unlock with passcode. Is there some security reason it can’t work with Apple Pay?
This is so less secure. Anyone with a mask close to you could use it….
 

WildstarBR2020

macrumors regular
May 7, 2020
174
159
One thing not related to the beta: my washing hands warning cannot tell if I’m washing hands or doing the dishes ?. Does anyone know how to fix it or the solution is just turning it off? ?
 
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