Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021, 16:01 iOS: Software

Bug In iOS 14.7 – Unlocking Apple Watch Per Touch ID Not Possible

If you take an Apple Watch off of your wrist to set it on a charging puck, the Watch automatically locks to protect your privacy. After reequipping the Watch, it will display the current time but no further information until unlocked again – accomplished by the input of a chosen code. However, the Watch can also be unlocked with an iPhone's Touch ID sensor or Face ID, when coupled with the smartphone.

iOS 14.7 Bug Prevents Automatic Unlocking
Several owners of Apple Watches – who have activated this feature in the watch's settings, report that the feature no longer works as intended after updating their iOS device to iOS 14.7 (to their unpleasant surprise). The cause is a bug in the operating system's most recent version noticed by neither Apple nor those who opted to partake in the operating system's beta testing phase. The result? When Apple Watch owners try to unlock their smartwatch via Touch ID on their linked iOS device, nothing happens – until they manually enter a code onto the watch face.

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Apple Releases Support Document
Inputting a code is currently the only way to fully unlock all of the smartwatch's features, including Apple Pay. This is according to a new support document from Apple. Only those with (obviously) an Apple Watch and an iPhone with Touch ID (a fingerprint scanner) are affected by the bug, which has no impact on other areas of normal device operations. For devices with Face ID, there's no issue. Face ID continues to unlock the Apple Watch (when configured to do so) as in previous versions and just as Touch ID actually should right now. At the moment, there are no known workarounds to the issue and those affected by the bug will simply need to continue manually inputting their code into their Apple Watch in order to unlock access to its full set of features.

MDM Profile Preventing Code Input On Apple Watch
For users of the Apple Watch with an iPhone with an MDM profile and an alphanumeric code, the bug is even more inconveniencing. They're not able to enter an alphanumeric code with the use of their fancy smartwatch. The MDM administrator has to remove the requirement for the code from the iPhone. Then, the Apple Watch has to be decoupled, wiped, and reconfigured. Apple will fix the bug in a future iOS update, when, however, is currently unknown.

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