iOS 14.5 lets Apple Watch owners unlock iPhones with mask on

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Estimated read time: 2 minutes

iOS 14.5

The Face ID facial recognition technology was adopted by Apple with the iPhone X in 2017. However, amidst the ongoing corona pandemic, this tech has proven to be a less practical solution. This because it often fails to unlock the iPhone when wearing a mask. Therefore, requiring the use of a passcode to gain access to your iPhone. 

However, Apple is trying to make things a little easier for iPhone users with Face ID with the iOS 14.5 update. The beta version of the iOS 14.5 has been released. This version comes with a feature that allows you to unlock your iPhone with Face ID when wearing a mask. However, this feature is dependent on you also owning an Apple Watch. 

This feature is called “Unlock with Apple Watch” and is similar to Android’s Smart Lock. It helps to unlock your iPhone with Face ID when your Apple watch is close to your iPhone.


Important Note about this iOS 14.5 feature:

Since Face ID will detect a mask on your face, for this feature to work, your Apple watch has to be on your wrist. The smartwatch should also be password-protected and unlocked while using this feature. 

However, the use of the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature is limited. The feature only unlocks your iPhone but doesn’t work with App Store and iTunes purchases. Which means you will be needed to enter your passcode for authentication if you are wearing a mask. 

In addition to “Unlock with Apple Watch”, iOS 14.5 beta supports the Xbox X series and PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers. It also enables worldwide dual-SIM 5G support as well as AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness+. 

More importantly, iOS 14.5 beta comes with the app tracking transparency controls, which let you prevent apps from tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. 

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