You really want Apple Watch to be a ‘must-have’ accessory

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Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo – The “Unlock With Apple Watch” feature was one of the best things about iOS 14.5, and is a clever solution to masks that muck FaceID in the pandemic. Now that people are starting to dig through the beta iOS 15 developer, the plan for Apple is to expand the feature to Siri.

Right now, you might need to authenticate that you are actually on your iPhone when you use Siri to make personal requests. According to Apple, personal requests are Siri commands that “use info on your iOS or iPadOS apps.” This includes private information in apps such as message, recall, contact, calendar and note. This includes private information. It is essentially what enables HomePod or HomePod mini to send text, call, and update you regarding your calendar, if you are unfamiliar with the features. It is not the most streamlined process that allows… well. In addition, you need to enable authentication for securing requests if you want to limit who has access to your calendar, notes, recalls, voicemail and history call.

Now, under 9to5 Mac, if you have an Apple Watch the additional authentication bit is not necessary. The iOS 15 beta now reads from the Face ID and Passcode menu in the Settings App: „Put your Apple Watch connection for Siri requests securely or unlock your iPhone if a blockage, like a mask, prevents Face ID from recognizing your face. You must protect your watch passcode, unlock it and close it on your wrist.”

Of course, it won’t be the most elegant process to put all this together. (Then again, it was never so easy to set up smart homes as to set other devices.) You must also continue to adjust your Apple Watch settings in addition to all the steps to activate personal requests. In particular, on your Apple Watch you’ll need a passcode, it needs to be within range, on the wrist and unlocked. That said, once you do everything, that seems to be a smart way of maintaining your privacy, without having to authenticate manually every time you request your personal information.

This is Apple’s latest attempt to sell Apple Watch in its ecosystem as a ‘must have’ accessory. The company started Fitness+ late last year. Looking cynically, it’s a complete service that shows how the health and fitness of the clock can work with other Apple devices. While Apple leans heavily on health characteristics of the watch, ways of using it as a physical safety key are constantly expanded. Apple has allowed Apple to open and approve application queries on Macs via the watch, starting with watchOS 3. (It is only an example for the password). Then Apple gave the watch the possibility of showing two-factor authentication Apple ID verification codes with watchOS 6. Apple also announced on Monday that it can control safety feeds and double them as an intercom in WatchOS 8.

To this end, it is a smart move to expand Unlock to Siri with Apple Watch requests. The HomePod has so far completely sucked into a smart home hub because of Siri. As Siri’s private digital assistant, deciphering voice requests was hardly good and adding an additional authentication layer made it easier just to reach your phone. At WWDC, however, Apple also announced that Siri finally has some meaningful smart home updates. To begin with, Siri now supports smart devices from third parties and on-device process speech recognition.

The Apple Watch will now operate as an intelligent home monitor, a security key, and a fitness and health tracker starting in the autumn. Once you are in the ecosystem, this is only another way to strengthen it. But the company finally reinforces its intelligent hometown services at least on the high side.