Apple has released iOS 15.0.1, and the biggest news is a fix to the Unlock with Apple Watch bug that left mask-wearers unable to use their smartwatch to bypass Face ID. Apple added the feature earlier in 2021, as a way to accommodate increased masking during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some iPhone 13 upgraders discovered that the system no longer worked.
On previous iPhone handsets, as long as you were wearing your Apple Watch, it was connected to your iPhone, and it itself was unlocked, you could use that to bypass the lock screen on your iPhone too. The system is opt-in, and proved to be a boon to those finding they were back to punching in a PIN code since Face ID couldn’t recognize enough of their face when their mouth and nose was covered with a mask.
Apple released it in April, having promised it – and tested it in beta releases – ahead of that.
With the arrival of iOS 15 and the iPhone 13, however, that system stopped working. Not for every user, but enough that Apple fast-tracked a fix. That went into beta earlier in the week, and has now graduated to a full release for all users.
iOS 15.0.1 is a bug fix release, rather than one which adds new features. It’s available for iPhone 6s and later, plus the iPod touch (7th Generation). iPadOS 15.0.1 – also released today – is available for all models of iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, along with iPad mini 4 and later.
It’s not an insignificant update on your iPhone, mind: about half a gigabyte or so. Apple, as usual, recommends waiting until you have a WiFi connection to download it. If you’ve got iOS or iPadOS set to Automatic Updates, it should eventually install by itself.
Alternatively, you can prompt the update manually. Head into Settings, then General, and finally choose Software Update. You may need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the iOS 15.0.1 option.