The new iOS 14.5 update promises to finally fix the Face ID mask problem. One of the most frustrating things about being an iPhone user in 2020 and 2021 was the need to enter a pin each time the device needed unlocking. Face ID with a mask simply did not work, as the fancy cameras needed the entire face to make an accurate reading. Thankfully, Apple is now rolling out a fix in the iOS 14.5 beta which should soon make its way to public devices.
iOS 14.5 Update Patch Notes (Beta)
- Face ID can use Apple Watch to unlock iPhone when a face with a mask is detected.
- Worldwide dual-SIM 5G support implemented.
- Podcasts app user interface updated.
- News app design updated.
- Reminders app has additional sorting and printing options.
- Improvements to Siri interactions while typing.
- “Call Emergency” added to Siri voice actions.
- Next-gen console controller support added. (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S)
- Apple Fitness+ casting with AirPlay 2.
WallStreetJournal’s Joanna Stern provided more details about the new Face ID with mask feature on Twitter:
It includes a new feature: Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a mask. If you are wearing a mask and have an unlocked Apple Watch on your wrist, you can unlock FaceID on your iPhone.
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) February 1, 2021
Developers are currently trying out the new iOS 14.5 Beta and WatchOS 7.4 Beta. Once testing has been done and Apple is happy enough with the level of polish, the update will be rolled out across all supported iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices.
For those who don’t own an Apple Watch, unlocking the iPhone with a mask is still going to be very difficult, even with iOS 14.5 installed. Here’s hoping Apple can target that group next, perhaps with a fingerprint sensor on the new phone!
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