iOS 15.4 beta adds support for unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask

The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today for iPhone adds the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask without the need for an Apple Watch. The Cupertino tech giant has also improved support for users that wear glasses.

In April 2021, Apple introduced a feature that allows users to unlock a Face ID-equipped iPhone while wearing a face mask, as long they have an Apple Watch. The functionality offers a balanced compromise between ease of use and security but it is not accessible to users who do not own an Apple Watch.

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask

“Face ID is most accurate when it’s set up for full-face recognition only,” Apple said in a statement with the release of iOS 15.4 beta. “To use Face ID while wearing a mask, iPhone can recognize the unique features around the eye to authenticate.”

If you opt to use this feature during setup, you will need to rescan your face for Face ID. Then, you will be able to unlock your iPhone even with a mask on. There is also a new “Use Face ID with a Mask” available in Settings that can be turned on or off if you change your mind. Keep in mind that for Face ID to work with a mask, you must be looking at your iPhone to unlock it. And, the feature does not work if you are wearing sunglasses.

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask

There is also a new “Add Glasses” feature to make Face ID more efficient when you are wearing glasses and a mask together. In the Settings app, Apple does say that facial recognition is “most accurate” when it is set up for full-face recognition only.

It is also important to note the following:

  • This feature works on iPhone 12 and later models.
  • Unlike “Unlock with Apple Watch”, this feature also works with Apply Pay and apps. This means that using this feature is less of a security risk, which is why Apple allows it to be used with Apple Pay and other apps.

Today’s beta update also features APIs for HealthKit, SharePlay, and more. Apple also seeded beta versions of macOS 12.3 and watchOS 8.5 to developers today. Previously, the company released iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3tvOS 15.3, HomePodOS 15.3watchOS 8.4, and macOS 12.2 to the public. 

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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