Apple Just Made It Easier to Unlock Your iPhone While Wearing a Mask

Man Using iPhone Wearing a Mask Credit: Alim Yakubov / Shutterstock
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Face masks have become a part of everyday attire when leaving the house to go shopping, stop at the bank, or take a stroll outside. Apple plans to make it easier for you to wear a mask and use your iPhone at the same time thanks to some improvements that are coming down the pike in iOS 13.5.

Those trying to protect themselves or loved ones from COVID-19 ran into an issue with the iPhone’s Face ID facial recognition. It does not work when a mask obscures the face.

Unlocking an iPhone with a mask takes some patience. Mask wearers have to activate a facial scan knowing that it will fail. After waiting for it to fail, users can then type in their password. This process takes up to 10-20 seconds and delays how quickly a person can access their phone.

iOS 13.5 Beta Improvements

Apple is working to minimize this delay by making small improvements in iOS starting with iOS 13.5 beta. Apple allegedly has sped up the phone unlocking process, significantly shortening the amount of time it takes before a person can use the passcode interface.

According to MacRumors, it now only takes a few seconds for the passcode interface to appear after someone swipes up on their display to unlock their phone. This change appears in iOS 13.5 which Apple has seeded to developers today.

What Else Is New in iOS 13.5?

Besides these improvements in Face ID, the operating system also includes Apple’s first version of its exposure notification system. This API-based system uses Bluetooth technology to log close encounters with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. This system allows public health officials to track a COVID-109 patient’s interaction so they can find and test individuals who may be exposed to the potentially deadly disease.

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