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04th Feb 2021

The new iOS 14.5 update will let you unlock your phone with a mask on

Reuben Pinder

First world problems…

This is far from the worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic, I want to make that very clear from the start.

But one of the unforeseen annoyances of the virus has been the inefficacy of the face ID function on iPhones when the user is wearing a mask. I know, I know, typing six digits instead of just staring blankly into a screen is such a gruelling ordeal. I don’t know how I do it really.

But, fear not, as the new iOS 14.5 update, which my phone tells me will auto-install today, will contain a feature that allows users to unlock their phones with face ID while they are wearing a mask.*

*If they have an Apple watch. I know, sorry.

Using a phone in tandem with an unlocked Apple watch will supposedly lower facial recognition accuracy Face ID with a haptic buzz to the Apple Watch when enabled. You can also unlock an iPhone remotely using an authenticated watch.

But most of you won’t have Apple watches, because you have too much self respect.

This feature will obviously only be applicable to the newer models of iPhone that don’t have a home button. If you’ve still got a home button and use your finger print to unlock your phone, just keep using that. Lucky you.

But if you’ve got one of the newer models, you’ll either have to make do with tapping six buttons to unlock your phone for the time being, or buy an Apple watch.

There are also rumours that Apple are experimenting with ‘optical in-display fingerprint sensors’ that could be part of its upcoming designs, which begs the question: why not just put a home button back on the phone?

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