In iOS 14.5 beta for developers, users can unlock iPhone using Face ID without removing their face masks. However, the new feature has a couple of nuances – it only works with Apple Watch and must be activated manually in the iPhone settings, and wrist detection feature must be enabled in the smartwatch settings.
“iPhone can use your Apple Watch to unlock when Face ID detects a face with a mask. Your Apple Watch must be nearby, on your wrist, unlocked, and protected by a passcode,” Apple says.
And since officials around the world have asked people to wear face masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus, this long-awaited feature will surely come in handy.
It works as follows: first, you need to unlock Apple Watch, then use Face ID as usual. If the smartphone is successfully unlocked, the Apple Watch will provide haptic feedback. Unlocking will work only if the system understands that the user is wearing a mask, and not just covers one’s face with something.
It is also reported that this feature was introduced only to unlock the phone. To pay for purchases with Apple Pay while wearing a medical mask, the user can use the Apple Watch. To auto-fill passwords in the App Store, iTunes and Safari, the system will automatically prompt you to enter your iPhone passcode.
Apple already tried to address this issue last May when the company provided an update that prompted Face ID to more quickly display the passcode input screen when users wore face masks.
The feature will be available to everyone with the public release of the next iOS update, but for now, you can also install its beta version.