Just days following the release of iOS 14.7, Apple has issued a new version of the operating system that contains a security update along with a fix for a biometric authentication-related bug.
iOS 14.7.1 — release this week along with iPadOS 14.7.1 — appears to have the main purpose of fixing a bug that prevented iPhones with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint biometric authentication system from unlocking paired Apple Watches.
“iOS 14.7.1 fixes an issue where iPhone models with Touch ID cannot unlock a paired Apple Watch using the Unlock with iPhone feature,” reads Apple’s release note. “This update also provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.”
This release comes just a few months after Apple launched iOS 14.5, which gave users the ability to use their Apple Watch as an authentication token to be used when unlocking their iPhone. That update was a part of the hardware giant’s response to the growing problem of face masks — which have become more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic — reducing the accuracy of the Face ID biometric authentication system.
COVID-19 and face masks also seem to be at least partially behind the reintroduction of fingerprint authentication in the iPhone lineup, which was brought back by Apple with last year’s iPhone SE release.
iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 are currently being automatically pushed to users, and can also be manually installed by visiting the settings app on a device and selecting ‘General’, and then ‘Software Update’ in the menu.