One of the complaints about wearing a mask is that they make it far more difficult to interact with your iPhone. Most iPhone owners use Face ID to unlock their devices while on-the-go. Masks largely rendered this feature useless – requiring you to enter your passcodes while taking up a frustrating amount of time in the process.
Thankfully, Apple has heard these concerns and will soon launch a great new feature to address them. With the iOS 14.5 update, the tech giant is adding a solution that makes it easier than ever to unlock your iPhone – even when you’re wearing a mask.
iOS 14.5 and “Mask Unlock” – What You Need to Know
Starting with iOS 14.5, there will be a new option that you can enable in the “Settings” app that will let you instantly unlock your iPhone with Face ID and an Apple Watch when paired together.
That’s the one big catch… you need to also own an Apple Watch.
But, if you’re wearing an unlocked Apple Watch, Face ID will still unlock your iPhone after a partial face scan has completed. This is similar to the way you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your MacBook or iMac right now.
As soon as the unlock happens, your Apple Watch will emit a slight haptic buzz to let you know that everything went successfully. You’ll also get a notification on your watch letting you know that it was used for this process. At that point, you’ll be able to go about your business – all without having to take your mask off or needing to input your passcode.
Note that when iOS 14.5 becomes available to the public, this “Mask Unlock” feature will not be enabled by default. Instead, you’ll need to go into the “Settings” application to turn it on. Likewise, there are certain things that will not work with this feature – like authenticating purchases made through the iTunes App Store or Apple Watch payments. In those situations, you’ll still need to put in your passcode for extra security.
Still, most people would agree that this is one great new iPhone feature that couldn’t have come along at a better time.