How to Use Face ID on Apple When Wearing a Mask

Due to the pandemic, wearing a mask has been more necessary than ever. And, taking it off in public to unlock your iPhone can pose serious health risks. Not to mention it can get pretty annoying as well by always removing or pulling down your mask. Not only that, being able to unlock your phone while wearing a mask would be invaluable to various professionals, such as in the medical field.

iOS 13.5 

To address the problem, Apple, in its 2020 iOS 13.5 update, attempted to create a solution. Instead of using the face ID to open the phone, users could swipe upwards on their iPhones. By doing so, they would dismiss the face ID option, and enable the passcode option instead. However, this feature was unliked by most iPhone users because it became a hassle to continuously punch in your passcode to open your phone.

iOS 14.5 

A year later in the iOS 14.5 update, Apple allowed its users to unlock their phones through their Apple watch. However, this feature had a lot of limitations as well. Firstly, it would recognize any face with a mask and unlock it. Thus, posing a serious security threat to iPhone users. Moreover, not every iPhone owner has an Apple watch; thus, the problem still had not gone away.

However, in the latest iOS update, 15.4, which is currently in beta mode, and is set to release soon, the face ID problem has been fixed. Through this new update, iPhone users will be able to unlock their phones through their face ID, even if they are wearing a mask.

How to Use Face ID with Mask Feature on iOS 15.4 

As iOS 15.4 will release sometime during March or April, only beta testers have access to this feature as of now. Or, if you are impatient, you can sign yourself up for the beta tester program.

However, if you do have the iOS 15.4 updates, you can use the Face ID with Mask Feature by following the steps below:

  1. Go on Settings.
  2. Select Face ID and Passcode.
  3. Type in your Passcode.
  4. Search for the option, ‘Face ID with Mask’.

The reason why this update can enable this feature is that it does not scan the entire face. Instead, it only recognizes the features around the eye area. Thus, it also supports an ‘Add Glasses’ feature as well for iPhone users who wear spectacles.

Issues with iOS 15.4 

While it may seem revolutionary, users should take into consideration the inevitable issues the new feature may have. Apple has disclosed that due to the mask feature, the face ID will be less secure. Thus, may provide leeway for unauthorized authentications.

Moreover, the mask face ID feature is limited to the newer additions of the iPhone. iPhone 12 and its variants are the oldest models the feature supports.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch 

In the case that you do not have iOS 15.4, you can unlock your phone with an Apple Watch. However, to do so, you need to have the Apple Watch running on at least OS 7.4b. Additionally, your iPhone should support the iOS 14.5 version update.

To unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch, follow the steps below:

  1. Secure the Apple Watch on your wrist.
  2. Ensure that it is unlocked.
  3. Make sure to enable the passcode option on your iPhone.
  4. Turn on Wrist Detection.
  5. Go to unlock the Apple Watch feature on your iPhone.
  6. Open Settings.
  7. Go to Face ID and Passcode.
  8. Enter your passcode.
  9. Select Unlock with Apple Watch.

Rida Rehan

Hello, I'm Rida Rehan, an undergraduate student, and an inspiring journalist who likes to explore various topics and fields to broaden my horizon, and to keep myself updated on information and trends.

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