Face ID Unlocking an iPhone Is Now Possible with a Mask (as Long as You Have an Apple Watch and iOS 14.5)

Man Wearing Mask at Apple Store Credit: Ali Efe Yilmaz / Shutterstock
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Apple today released the iOS 14.5 beta to developers, giving the public a sneak peek into what is coming in Apple’s next iOS version.

One of the most useful new features allows users to unlock their iPhone even when they are wearing a mask.

However, the new unlocking feature is not as easy and elegant as it sounds. It only works when the iPhone owner is wearing an Apple Watch.

If the user’s Apple Watch is unlocked, then all the person needs to do is glance at their iPhone. The iPhone then will communicate with the Apple Watch, confirm the authenticated Apple Watch, and almost immediately unlock the phone.

According to Engadget, the automatic unlocking must be enabled before users can take advantage of this faceless unlocking feature. Unfortunately, users need to have a connected Apple Watch to unlock their iPhone when wearing a mask.

After mask-wearing became commonplace last year, Apple has been under increasing pressure to come up with a solution that allows people to quickly unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask.

Apple tried to address this issue by shortening the amount of time it took for Face ID to detect a mask. When a mask is detected, iOS now quickly pushes people to the passcode input screen.

Those small changes helped, but it wasn’t enough, especially for people who wear a mask most of the day due to their job or where they live.

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