Apple to Allow Masked Users to Unlock iPhones via Face ID in iOS 14.5

By Jesse Sokolow on 2 February 2021
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The new iPhone 12 Pro

Apple will give recent iPhone users the ability to unlock their devices via Face ID when wearing a mask, but there’s a catch: The user will also have to have an Apple Watch.

Starting with the next upgrade to Apple’s mobile operating system, which will be iOS 14.5, a user will only have to look at his iPhone much as he does now in order to unlock it, with the proviso that he’s wearing an unlocked Apple Watch when doing so. Simply put, the feature allows the iPhone to unlock despite significantly lower face recognition accuracy because the watch, in effect, vouches for the user.

When the feature is being used to unlock the phone, the user will notice a haptic tap on his wrist from the watch, indicating that the unlock request was successful.

Once the feature is installed, it will only work to unlock the phone. It won’t serve as a complete substitute to gain password access or access to password-protected accounts.  Those will have to be accessed with a high-resolution Face ID scan or the manual entry of a password.

IOS 14.5 won’t be released until the spring, however, so users who are impatient to get this feature could join Apple’s beta software program, which gives developer-like access to users willing to test new versions of iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, and watchOS, but testing betaware doesn’t come without risk: Beta software is frequently buggy and some apps won’t work with operating systems that haven’t yet been released.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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