Calling all Apple Watch owners! The multinational tech giant’s latest watchOS
release has landed. Arriving just 12 weeks after the previous update, watchOS 7.4 brings with it a number of cool new features.
These include Unlock with Apple Watch
and new ways to work out. There are also over 200 fresh emojis and a fix for the incorrect identification of audio notifications.
Have you overlooked the previous update as well? In that case, there’s a new watch face and Apple’s recently introduced Time to Walk feature from watchOS 7.3 to look forward to, too.
Unlock With Apple Watch
With watchOS 7.4, owners can now use their Apple Watch to authenticate Face ID for unlocking their iPhones. The opt-in feature is rather succinctly called Unlock with Apple Watch. By turning the feature on, an Apple Watch becomes a neat means of secondary authentication.
Unlock with Apple Watch exists to make unlocking an iPhone while wearing a face mask as easy as possible. Face ID, of course, doesn’t work when wearing a mask. Instead, it’s necessary to enter a passcode. However, with Unlock with Apple Watch, users’ authenticated Apple Watches circumvent this need.
As long as a user is wearing their Apple Watch, they can unlock their iPhone with a simple swipe up. By that token, it’s a handy addition whether an individual is wearing a face mask or not.
Turn on Unlock With Apple Watch
Turn the feature on under Face ID & Passcode within the Settings app. Haptic watch feedback confirms a successful unlock. To enable Unlock with Apple Watch, both watch and iPhone must be running the latest software. For Apple Watches this is, of course, watchOS 7.4. For iPhones, meanwhile, users must download and install iOS 14.5.
Unlock with Apple Watch cannot be used for App Store or Apple Pay purchases. The same goes for third-party apps that call for Face ID scanning. In these instances, a passcode—or, of course, a Face ID scan—is still required.
New Ways to Work Out
The latest watchOS update also brings with it new means of casting Apple Fitness+
on users’ AirPlay 2 devices. Until now, Fitness+ users could only view streams from the service on their iPhones, iPads, and newer Apple TVs. With watchOS 7.4, though, Fitness+ can be cast to any device—TV or otherwise—equipped with AirPlay 2.
Fitness+ delivers various guided workouts to subscribers’ devices. Revolving around their Apple Watches, the $10 per month service is now more accessible than ever thanks to watchOS 7.4.
Getting to Grips With Apple Fitness+
Since its launch, viewing Fitness+ workouts has been restricted primarily to iPhones and iPads. Only Apple TV owners could view streams on a larger screen. Even then, this was limited solely to the latest Apple TV models. Thankfully, with watchOS 7.4, it’s now possible to get the same Fitness+ experience without the need for Apple’s standalone digital media player.
To get started, hit the casting icon or select screen mirroring from within the Fitness+ app. Then, simply pick a connected AirPlay 2-enabled device to cast a workout to its screen.
Did You Know?
Accidents while working out are among the leading causes of damage to people’s Apple Watches. If you’re thinking of taking your fitness to the next level aided by your Apple Watch
, consider locking in accident protection with Upsie.
Additional All-New watchOS 7.4 Features
Downloading and installing watchOS 7.4 also brings with it over 200 extra emojis. The same 217 new emojis found in iOS 14.5 are neatly bundled into watchOS 7.4 alongside Unlock with Apple Watch and extended Fitness+ casting.
Elsewhere, there’s an added option to define a Bluetooth device type. This Bluetooth device type identification primarily serves to fix issues surrounding incorrectly determined audio notifications.
Expanded ECG support within watchOS 7.4 also brings irregular heart rhythm notifications to the Apple Watch in certain overseas markets for the first time.
Still Not Updated to watchOS 7.3?
Last month’s release of watchOS 7.4 is the latest of four major watchOS 7 updates since its debut in September 2020. The previous version landed just 12 weeks prior.
The WatchOS 7.3 update also includes the recently introduced Time to Walk feature and a new watch face awaiting those now ready to download.
Apple Watch Pricing and Warranty
Protection With Upsie
Three-year extended Apple Watch warranty protection with Upsie
costs from just $1.42 per month. For that, customers receive complete peace of mind against manufacturing defects, screen cracks, drops, liquid damage, and more. This includes battery, touchscreen, and Bluetooth failures alike.
Upsie customers are invited to protect either a new or used Apple Watch. They can also pay upfront or in installments. Better still, smartwatch and fitness tracker warranties
from Upsie are up to 70 percent cheaper than those sold by the likes of AppleCare+, SquareTrade, and Best Buy.
At the same time, Upsie’s deductible for Apple Watch claims is just $25, with the option to have them repaired at your local Genius Bar. That’s compared to deductibles of between $59 and $69 charged by AppleCare+, Best Buy, SquareTrade, and others.
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