Apple's Eddy Cue revealed a scant few new details about the Apple Watch at an NBA game in Oakland, California, on Friday. The executive — who's in charge of internet services and software at Apple — detailed how Apple Watch owners will use Apple Pay.
Cue told members of the press that, in many ways, Apple Pay will be easier to use with the company's smartwatch than with an iPhone. That's because you won't have to authenticate every time you want to make a payment. As we've heard before, so long as you've "unlocked" your Apple Watch by pairing it with your iPhone, you'll be good to go by simply bringing your wrist up to an NFC-equipped cash register.
Paying will be easier with an Apple Watch than an iPhone
According to CNET, the Apple executive explained the feature thusly: "You don't have to authenticate on the phone," he said. "Your watch has to be unlocked, and your phone can unlock your watch." He added, "If I took my watch off and gave it to you, it would know and no longer work. If I wanted to pay right now, I could pay with the watch and not have to take the phone out of my pocket."
The Apple Watch's health sensors know when the device is strapped to your wrist and when it's off your person. According to Cue, Apple is taking advantage of that data to simplify the payment experience. You will, however, need to confirm a payment by tapping the button on the side of the Apple Watch.
We now also know how iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C owners will be able to use Apple Pay with the smartwatch. Using the same technology, users will be able to pay with an Apple Watch without authentication. For iPhones like the 5 and 5C, which lack Touch ID, you'll simply have to use a PIN code to pair the devices and unlock the Apple Watch. Or you can type that PIN into the Apple Watch itself.
When Apple announced the Apple Watch last September, the company left us with more questions than answers about the device. We expect to learn everything we need to know at Apple's event on Monday — we'll be there to bring you all the news live.
Correction: Modified the sub-headline to avoid possible confusion about the security measures behind Apple Pay. In addition, Apple says that a higher-security option originally reported by CNET does not exist. The optional feature was originally said to require that users authenticate the watch before each and every purchase, but that was inaccurate.