With iOS 15, you’ll be able to use Siri voice commands without having to unlock your smartphone — as long as you have an Apple Watch that’s connected to the smartphone.
This is an expansion of iOS 14.5’s ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ features that allow Apple’s smartwatch to unlock the iPhone. Currently, as long as you have Unlock with Apple Watch turned on and you’re wearing the smartwatch, you can unlock your iPhone without requiring Face ID or a pin number.
However, when unlocking the iPhone with this method, Siri requests don’t work and you still need to authenticate your identity.
With iOS 15, Apple is expanding Unlock with Apple Watch to allow for personal Siri requests without additional authentication. 9to5Mac says that there’s a new message explaining this feature under the Unlock with Apple Watch tab in the Settings app.
Use the secure connection to your Apple Watch for Siri requests or to unlock your iPhone when an obstruction, like a mask, prevents Face ID from recognizing your Face. Your watch must be passcode protected, unlocked, and on your wrist close by.
Though a relatively minor change, being forced to authenticate again to use Siri after already logging into the smartphone, was a hassle. It’s great to see Apple add this relatively simple quality-of-life change to iOS 15.
iOS 15 is currently available in a developer beta with a public beta dropping this July. The final version of the operating system will release this fall.