After two years of COVID, Apple is finally adding mask support to Face ID. The latest iOS Beta update (version 15.4) includes a Face ID setting for mask wearers. It’s a major improvement over last year’s “fix,” which let you sloooowly unlock your phone with an Apple Watch if Face ID failed.
Apple warns that Face ID is more accurate when it only scans full faces. Still, mask mode is a necessity if you wear facial coverings while out and about (unless you want to type in a PIN like a caveman). The feature could also help users in cold climates unlock their iPhone when wearing scarves, running masks, and other cozy accessories.
Well this is new 🤔 (iOS 15.4 Beta 1) pic.twitter.com/MSe7hmPGlR
— Brandon Butch (@BrandonButch) January 27, 2022
To enable Face ID mask mode, go into Settings and select “Face ID & Passcode.” You don’t need to re-scan your face for this feature, and you can disable mask mode at any time. Notably, mask mode also works with Apple Pay, 1Password, and other apps.
There’s just one problem. As MacRumors notes, Face ID mask mode only works with the iPhone 12 and 13. We’re not sure if this is a permanent restriction or if Apple plans to add the feature to older iPhones in the future.
The Face ID mask mode should roll out with Apple’s iOS 15.4 update. Again, it’s currently only available in the iOS 15.4 Beta.