Apple has started rolling out iOS 15.4 beta 1 to developers and public beta users, in which the company is testing Face ID with a mask, so you can now unlock your iPhone (iPhone 12 or later models) in public places even you’re wearing a mask.
Whats’s in iOS 15.4 beta 1
If you’re a developer or public beta tester, you’ll notice a new prompt screen explaining the new “Use Face ID with a mask” option once you update your iPhone 12 or later devices with iOS 15.4 beta 1.
Users will be able to apply Face ID with a mask in iOS 15.4, which will be released in the coming months. As Apple explains, the TrueDepth system tries to “recognize the unique features around the eye to authenticate” your face.
With the Apple Watch unlock, on the other hand, the TrueDepth system only searches for the mask. The iPhone is immediately unlocked if the system detects the mask and the user is wearing an Apple Watch.
That’s why Apple allows users to lock their iPhones with their Apple Watches to prevent accidental fake authentications.
Face ID with the mask is available on Apple Pay and third-party apps, according to 9to5Mac: “Since the TrueDepth system is actively scanning your face, Apple allows Face ID to authenticate third-party app access and even Apple Pay usage.”
Not only is Apple improving Face ID with glasses, but it’s now making it possible to use facial recognition with a mask. The company explains: “Using Face ID while wearing a mask works best when it’s set up to recognize each pair of glasses you wear regularly. Face ID with a mask doesn’t support sunglasses.”
It wouldn’t make sense to use sunglasses to set up facial recognition with a mask because the TrueDepth system needs to scan only your eye area. After you’ve set up facial recognition using a mask, you’ll be able to use this feature.
Customers don’t need an Apple Watch to use Face ID with a mask, but there is a twist regarding device compatibility: Apple is only introducing this functionality to iPhone 12 and newer devices such as iPhone 13. The company doesn’t explain why, but users of the iPhone X, XR, XS, and 11 won’t be able to use this feature for now.
Every major update to iOS 15 takes up to six weeks, according to Apple. While Apple does not provide a timetable, while iOS 15.4 may include a number of new functionality, it will take some time for all users to be able to make use of all of the new features.
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