IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

Mastering endpoint security implementation
Security

Mastering endpoint security implementation

18 May 2022
The Total Economic Impact™ of Apple Mac in Enterprise: M1 update
Whitepaper

The Total Economic Impact™ of Apple Mac in Enterprise: M1 update

12 May 2022
Dell Technologies World 2022: Dell unveils fastest storage architecture in company history
Server & storage

Dell Technologies World 2022: Dell unveils fastest storage architecture in company history

4 May 2022
Dell Technologies World 2022: Dell unveils security offerings for major cloud providers
public cloud

Dell Technologies World 2022: Dell unveils security offerings for major cloud providers

3 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Microsoft says it's provided over $100 million in tech support to Ukrainian government
cyber attacks

Microsoft says it's provided over $100 million in tech support to Ukrainian government

20 May 2022