According to sources familiar with the development of macOS, Apple is allegedly working on expanding Apple Watch authentication in macOS 10.15 so that you’ll be able to authenticate other operations on your computer beyond simply unlocking the system.
Guilherme Rambo, writing at 9to5Mac:
According to sources familiar with the development of macOS, the next major version of the operating system will allow users to authenticate other operations on the Mac beyond just unlocking the machine with their watch.
If true, that’s going to be an awesome feature addition for macOS 10.15.
The improvement will allow people who own an older Mac model without Touch ID to take advantage of their watch and do more than just log in to their macOS account.
The ability to unlock Mac computers with Apple Watch—Apple’s calling the feature Auto Unlock—was introduced in macOS Sierra 10.12 two years ago.
TUTORIAL: How to unlock your Mac with Apple Watch
Currently, Apple Watch wearers can unlock their computer and authenticate Apple Pay purchases with a double-click of the watch’s Side button (from a security standpoint, the watch knows when it’s being worn and it also must be secured with a passcode)
It’s unclear the extent of operations that will be supported, but it’s possible that all operations that can currently be authenticated with Touch ID will also be accessible via the Apple Watch mechanism.
Sounds logical to me.
It’s also likely that there will be a user interface on watchOS to authorize the process, similar to the current Apple Pay confirmation, since doing everything without user input would not be as secure.
By comparison, owners of Touch ID-outfitted Macs like the MacBook Pro line and the latest MacBook Air can use their fingerprint instead of their password to unlock the computer, authorize Apple Pay purchases, autofill usernames and passwords, confirm sensitive changes in System Preferences and authenticate with sudo in Terminal.
macOS 10.15 should also feature Luna Display-like desktop extension functionality—turning your iPad into a wireless display and graphics tablet for your Mac—plus new standalone apps for Music, Books, Podcasts and TV, a merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends app with support for personal item tracking via Apple-branded Tile-like tags and more.
The Cupertino tech giant will unveil the next major version of macOS along with other major OS updates during the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 3.