Apple’s next iPhone software upgrade, iOS 15.4, includes a game-changing feature people have been wanting for years.
We’ve all been there. You go to open your iPhone with Face ID while paying for something. You’re wearing a mask, so your iPhone wants your passcode, and you have to type that in before you can pay. Sure, the whole process is faster than it used to be, and you can more easily open your iPhone using your Apple Watch, but it’s far from ideal.
All this is about to change, according to reports, because Apple is finally adding the ability for people to open their iPhones using Face ID while wearing a mask in iOS 15.4. Released yesterday hot on the heels of the iOS 15.3 security update, the beta for Apple’s next iPhone software upgrade adds a new feature that allows Face ID to be used when you are wearing a mask.
According to Apple, the new iPhone feature recognizes “unique features” around your eyes to authenticate you. You’ll need to rescan your face for Face ID, but it’s more than worth it if you remove the need to use your Apple Watch or passcode to open your iPhone.
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Apple’s previous update, iOS 15.2, launched six weeks ago in December, along with the new App Privacy Report. The latest big point update, iOS 15.3 came couple of days ago, so we’ll be waiting a while to see iOS 15.4, and it won’t necessarily include all the features we are seeing in this early beta.
If it ends up in iOS 15.4, the new iPhone feature will appear in the Settings app under “Use Face ID with a mask”. This toggle can be easily turned on and off. There’s also a nifty new feature for when you are wearing glasses and a mask together, if you’re sporting the “Invisible Man” look.
You need to be looking at your iPhone, and it doesn’t work if you are wearing sunglasses. The new iOS 15.4 feature isn’t coming to all iPhones though—at the moment, it looks like you’ll need an iPhone 12 or 13.
Of course, with improved convenience comes slightly less security. Apple warns in the Settings that Face ID is “most accurate” when set up for full facial recognition only.
It’s a game-changing iPhone feature, the only complaint I have is that it’s at least a year too late. But Apple does like to wait before launching new features such as this one, to ensure it’s working properly and is as secure as possible before people start using it. Lots of people are still wearing masks in shops, and this new iOS 15.4 feature will make things a heck of a lot easier.