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watchOS 7.4 arrives with an easier way to unlock your iPhone

Kris Holt
·Contributing Writer
·2-min read

Along with iOS 14.5, Apple has rolled out updates to its other operating systems. One of the key features of the latest iOS firmware is an easier way to unlock your iPhone. As long as you're wearing an Apple Watch running watchOS 7.4, you can unlock your device without the need for a Face ID match or passcode.

The idea is to help people access their phones faster when we're still wearing masks much of the time. It'll save you having to pull down your mask to unlock your phone with Face ID. You'll need to turn on the "Unlock with Apple Watch" option in your iPhone's Face ID & Passcode settings to use the feature.

Also arriving in watchOS 7.4 is a way to classify the Bluetooth device type so it can identify the correct headphones for audio notifications. In addition, you can stream audio and video from your Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled devices. Irregular heart rhythm notifications and the ECG app (on Series 4 and above) are available to users in Australia and Vietnam.

Elsewhere, macOS 11.3 is available to everyone after a three-month beta. It includes optimizations for M1 Macs, along with support for AirTags and the latest versions of the Find My and Podcasts apps. You can set up audio output to stereo HomePods as default, access more sorting options in Reminders and use Apple Music's autoplay feature. In addition, macOS 11.3 has a fix for the Shlayer malware, as TechCrunch notes, along with more diverse voice support for Siri and new emoji.

HomePod 14.5 has support for the new Siri voices as well as some bug fixes. As for tvOS 14.5, there's a feature that harnesses your iPhone to calibrate the color balance on your TV automatically. On top of all that, macOS and tvOS have gained support for the latest PlayStation DualSense and Xbox controllers, which'll come in handy if you play Apple Arcade games often.