iPhone users can soon use Face ID while wearing a mask

No more frustrating passcodes, but there is one Apple Watch-sized catch

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

Apple will soon roll out an update that’ll enable users to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask using a new “Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch” feature. 

After downloading iOS 14.5, now available as developer beta, users can choose to unlock their iPhones using a less accurate Face ID option. The user must activate the “Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch” first, and their Apple Watch must be nearby or on their wrist, unlocked, and passcode protected to use this less-accurate Face ID option. If a user tries to unlock their iPhone with a mask on, it will vibrate the user’s Apple Watch to let them know their iPhone is unlocked. 

Keep in mind that this feature is only available for unlocking iPhone using Face ID. Apple disables it when users must authenticate Apple Pay transactions. As an added security measure, it’ll also ask users to type in their passcodes every few hours, even when they have “Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch” enabled.

Twitter had mixed reactions to the update. “So if someone else is wearing a mask, they can unlock my iPhone while I'm wearing my Apple Watch. But there is a proximity element, so I have to be right there or it just stays locked and says move closer to the watch,” posted one user.

“The new iPhone update lets users with Apple Watches unlock their iPhone with Face ID even while wearing a mask. If there’s one thing I like about being in the Apple ecosystem, it’s the convenience it brings,” posted another user.

Apple is reportedly considering moving to an in-screen fingerprint reader, like Samsung uses,  for its upcoming iPhone 13. The feature will complement Apple’s new Face ID update.

For owners of older iPhone models who don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new Apple smartwatch to unlock their phones while wearing a mask, they can enter their passcode instead. It’s secure and reliable at all times. What’s more, using a passcode avoids the notification each time they unlock their phones via the Apple Watch.

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