Here’s How to Use Face ID With Face Mask on iOS 15.4 and iPhone

iOS 15.4 beta introduces two critical new extractions: the addition of the Green Pass directly to the wallet and the use of Face ID with a mask. Both are particularly relevant in this period, but probably the one that more than any other offers itself as useful in everyday life is precisely the ability of the iPhone to unlock with a face mask on.

Face ID, when you are in this situation, is simply not able to work since it needs to recognize the face to activate the iPhone. Apple is at a disadvantage in this respect compared to several competitors that offer both a face-reading and fingerprint-reading unlock. A first attempt was made to close this disadvantage by using Apple Watch as a secondary unlock key.

In summary, those who have an Apple watch see Face ID working even when they are wearing the mask. However, the system is not particularly precise, and above all, it requires you to also have an Apple Watch.

How to use Face ID with the face mask

iOS 15.4 radically addresses the problem. You don’t need anything other than an iPhone. To make the recognition system work:

  • Register your face
  • Give consent to the activation of the recognition with mask
  • Register your face again

Throughout this process, it is not necessary to wear the mask.Face ID Face mask iPhone

If you wear glasses

There is also another essential detail to take into account. Face ID reads the eye area more accurately. For this reason, if you wear glasses, the system asks you for a third reading of the face without the eyes themselves. Later, you can also add another pair of glasses of different shapes (but not sunglasses) to Face ID.

This is understandable when you consider that to unlock the iPhone, the operating system should use only the accurate mapping of the eye area on whose profile the glasses massively affect.

Actually, iOS is not particularly picky. In our case, we were also recognized both with and without glasses, indifferently by registering the face with and without glasses. The only detail to consider is that the unlocking function with a mask also requires you to look at the iPhone directly, so it is not possible to disable the “ask to look towards Face ID” option.

The difference with unlocking with Apple Watch

At this point, you may be wondering what the differences are between authentication with Apple Watch and the “native” one that in iOs 15.4. Leaving aside the most obvious one, namely the fact that the one with Apple Watch works only for those who have an Apple Watch, the second most important is the fact that authentication with a mask is a valid authentication with Face ID. This means that you will be able to use Face ID for all the functions meant for it, including accessing passwords or using the payment with the wallet.

What devices does it work with?

Face ID unlocking does not work with all Face ID devices but only with the latest iPhones. In particular, it only works with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. The reason why those who use an iPhone 11 or earlier cannot take advantage of this interesting function is not clear. We could say that there are limits in the processors or Face ID technology, but these are only hypotheses.

Face ID with mask reading does not even work with iPads, but this is less surprising. Tablets do not unlock even with the old method that uses Apple Watch.

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