Now that the face mask has become a constant accessory – from shopping to picking up from kindergarten – many of us will have noticed how cumbersome it has become to unlock our phones. This is especially true on the iPhone, where the facial recognition feature “Face ID” fails with the face mask on, prompting you to enter your PIN instead. Now, two years after the pandemic, it still looks like Apple is finally making life a little less complicated for iPhone users.
The company is testing Face ID, which recognizes you even when you are wearing a mask. This can be seen in photos of an early version of the next iPhone update, the beta version of iOS 15.4, posted by users on Twitter:
Instead of scanning your entire face, Face ID is trained to recognize unique features around your eyes with the face mask feature enabled. Apple admits that this new login option is less secure than having Face ID scan your entire face, as it does today. We suspect that most users will gladly sacrifice a little bit of security for the convenience of Face ID.
A separate Face ID mode with better support for glasses detection is also being introduced. You can train your iPhone to recognize you wearing different glasses, with or without a face mask.
The features are included in the upcoming iOS 15.4 update. Since Apple just released iOS 15.3 this week, it will probably be another month or two before it’s available to everyone. The website 9to5Mac has already tested the new Face ID face mask feature on a number of phones. They report that only the iPhone 12 and 13 models support the feature.