KEY POINTS

  • Apple Watch holders can now unlock their iPhones with their masks on
  • iOS 14.5 update introduces a feature that lets iPhone holders bypass the Face ID
  • Apple’s latest beta update unveils more features for iPhone users

Apple iOS 14.5 now makes it possible to unlock Face ID iPhones even with masks on. Using an Apple Watch, iPhone users can bypass the facial recognition system and unlock their device.

On Feb. 1, Apple rolled out the iOS 14. 5 and watchOS 7.4 beta versions. The iteration uses Apple Watch to unlock iPhones usually dependent on Face ID, a concern that has been going on since the pandemic.

When the mask life began, iPhone users had to find an alternative way to access their devices without having to remove their masks. They resorted to entering their passcode from time to time.

The iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 beta release comes with the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature. The feature diverts the alert to the Apple Watch once an iPhone user attempts to open the device.

However, to unlock an iPhone, an Apple Watch must be unlocked and authenticated before pairing with the iOS device. The smartwatch must also be near the phone to bypass the Face ID. This also ensures the safety of the users’ data.

To unlock an iPhone without the need to remove the face mask, a user simply has to turn the latest feature on by heading over to “Face ID and Passcode” and keep the “Unlock with Apple Watch” on.

Once activated, the Apple Watch will give the user haptic feedback during every attempt to unlock the iPhone. The user then needs to approve the unlock prompt to bypass the Face ID unlocking system.

The feature that has been available to Mac for some time is also available on Apple Pay making it easier for users to purchase without the need to take their masks off.

However, the feature does not work with purchases through App Store, iTunes store as well as access and transactions that require Safari password autofill. Touch ID phones also do not benefit from the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature.

Aside from the Face ID solution, the latest beta update also brings updates to Siri, latest-gen Xbox, and PlayStation game controllers support, and app tracking controls. It also provides 5G dual sim and T-Mobile standalone 5G network support.

iPhone users could expect the iOS 14.5 and watch OS 7.4 public release in a few weeks.