April 2021, iOS 14.5. Apple is making available a new version of its iPhone OS allowing its users to unlock their smartphone by wearing a mask using Face ID. Problem: Unlocking only works when wearing an unlocked Apple Watch on the wrist. A way for Apple to ensure the security of the iPhone.
February 2022, the first beta of iOS 15.4. By surprise, Apple unveils a surprising new feature for its iPhones equipped with Face ID. Without having to own a smartwatch, the user can now unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask.
To activate the feature, several possibilities. The first takes place directly after updating to 15.4. Your iPhone will then offer to reconfigure Face ID to improve its analyses. You should not wear your mask during setup. First, select Use Face ID with a mask .
You will then get the same menu as when you first set up Face ID. The camera will activate and you will have to rotate your head 360°.
If you chose “Set Up Later” after installing iOS 15.4, don’t worry! You can always reconfigure Face ID for use with a mask later. To do this, go to your iPhone’s settings, then select the Face ID and passcode. Then enter the unlock code for your iPhone, then go to check the Use Face ID with a mask. Then follow the steps above.
After setting up Face ID, a new option appears: Add glasses. According to Apple, “Face ID with a mask works best when configured to recognize each pair of glasses you wear regularly” .
Obviously, it is useless to configure this option if you do not wear corrective glasses. Also, the option does not work with sunglasses.
Wear the glasses and do a 360° turn with your head. Repeat the action as many times as you wear different glasses.
After doing this, Face ID will be able to recognize you even when you are wearing a mask and glasses. On the other hand, wearing a mask and sunglasses will simply render Face ID unusable. Another clarification, it will still not be possible to make purchases via Apple Pay while wearing a mask. For this, the iPhone will always ask to view your entire face.
Finally, be aware that not all devices equipped with Face ID will work with a mask. Indeed, it appears that only the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are compatible with the function. On the iPad side, only the 2020 and 2021 models would support the feature.