If you are an iPhone user who has been struggling to unlock your device while wearing a mask, you will be happy to know that you can now use your Face ID without taking off your mask. Apple has finally released an update that allows users to unlock their phones with their faces while wearing a mask. This is great news for everyone who has been waiting for this update.
Update to iOS 15.4 Beta to use Face ID without removing your mask or wearing an Apple Watch
Wearing a mask helps protect you and those around you from COVID, but it also complicates the simple act of unlocking your phone with your face. Apple has added a solution to this issue in the latest iOS 15.4 Beta update.
Apple now allows you to unlock your iPhone with a face mask, as long as two conditions are met.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have an iPhone 12 or newer. This includes the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max. If you have an iPhone 11 or earlier, then you will not be able to use the new feature to unlock your iPhone with a mask.
The second requirement is iOS 15.4. This update introduces some new features to iPhones, including this FaceID update and over 30 new emojis. That said, the update is not out yet. In order to install iOS 15.4 on your iPhone, and subsequently gain access to the new mask-supported FaceID, you will need to enroll your iPhone in iOS 15.4 beta.
How to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask
So your iPhone is now updated to iOS 15.4. When it boots up, look for the auto-projection screen that appears, asking if you want to set up your Face ID with a mask. Agree to this popup, then follow the onscreen instructions to rescan your face. Note: If you wear glasses, you will need to do additional facial scans for each pair of glasses you wear, so that the function is as accurate as possible.
From here, you will be able to unlock your iPhone with your Face ID whether or not you are wearing a mask. However, you should know that this feature makes face identification less secure than before. Apple doesn’t specify how much this option compromises the security of Face ID (the feature has a probability of one in a million failures typically), but it’s worth knowing before committing to it full-time.
Even so, no security method is perfect. I’m happy to take a little risk, so my iPhone unlocks whenever I look at it again. I suspect most people (at least, most people who still wear masks) feel the same way.