You can NOT unlock your iPhone 13 with your Watch
A few days ago when the iPhone 13 pre-orders began reaching customers, users began to complain that they were not able to use the "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature on their new smartphones running iOS 15. On Sunday, Apple released a support note acknowledging the issue. The company promised to fix the issue with a future software update but did not share remedial measures.
Unlock with Apple Watch helps when Face ID detects mask
Unlock with Apple Watch is a feature that allows you to unlock the iPhone using an Apple Watch paired to it. The feature was introduced in April as a quality-of-life enhancement since iPhones could not use Face ID because face masks would interfere. The feature worked if Face ID detected a mask and if your Apple Watch was nearby, on your wrist, and unlocked.
Unlock with Apple Watch doesn't work on iPhone 13
Several iPhone 13 buyers took to Reddit to vent their frustration when they discovered that Unlock with Apple Watch wouldn't work on their expensive new iPhones. Several Redditors even tried pairing, unpairing, resetting devices, and other remedial measures in an attempt to fix the problem, but all in vain. The users continued to receive an "Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch" error.
Unlock with Apple Watch still works for older iPhone models
Unlock with Apple Watch reportedly works only with the iPhone X and newer iPhones and the Apple Watch Series 3 and later models. Some people on the internet claimed that the feature continued to work as expected on older iPhones such as the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple acknowledged the feature doesn't work on some iPhone 13s.
Apple acknowledges the issue, promises fix with a software update
Apple's acknowledgment of the issue with the feature provides some closure to users who were desperately trying to get the feature to work. The company promised to fix the issues with the Unlock with Apple Watch feature, but it has not provided a timeline for the update. Additionally, Apple did not even say there are measures users could try until a fix is released.