iPhone users can now unlock device with face mask on

With Apple iOS 14.5 update. And an Apple Watch.

Belmont Lay | April 27, 2021, 05:57 PM

iPhone users will be able to unlock their devices using Face ID while wearing a face mask.

The catch is that they must also have an Apple Watch for the feature to work. 

Latest iOS 14.5 update allows it

Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 update will allow this feature that works with the iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 models onwards that run watchOS 7.4.

This was announced by Apple on Monday, April 26. 

How it works

The “Unlock With Apple Watch” function can be found under Face ID & Passcode in Settings.

But users must first wear an unlocked Apple Watch nearby.

Facing the iPhone allows it to detect a mask.

Users will then receive haptic feedback from their watch, meaning their phone has been unlocked.

This will allow the phone to bypass facial recognition.

How to enable

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, and scroll down to the new Unlock With Apple Watch option.

Toggle it on to turn on the feature.

Important thing to note

The phone will be looking for a face with a mask, and not the phone owner's face with a mask.

This means that another person with a mask on will be able to unlock the phone if the phone's owner was within a metre or so away.

Apple has warned about this when the feature is turned on.

To mitigate this issue, the Apple Watch buzzes whenever it is used to unlock the phone.

The watch will also send a notification informing that the phone has been unlocked and there will be a button to lock it back.

Pressing that lock button immediately locks the phone and requires a passcode on the next unlock.

Top photo via Getty