iPhones will skip Face ID authentication for people wearing masks
The outbreak of coronavirus has made face masks and protective gear 'the new normal'. Whether you are going for work or something as innocuous as buying groceries, you ought to have a face mask on all the time. Now, to help people embrace this shift, Apple is pushing a minor but useful change with the latest iOS beta version. Here's all about it.
Problem of unlocking iPhones while wearing masks
As many of you may have already noticed, it gets really difficult to unlock an iPhone while wearing a face mask. The Face ID facial recognition technology that iPhone X and newer models use for instant unlocking has been designed in such a way that it does not work when a user's face is covered or their eyes are closed.
Device tries to detect face, unlock biometrically
When you try to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask, the system makes multiple attempts to detect the face and unlock biometrically. This takes about 15 or more seconds, keeping the user from accessing the option to enter their passcode and unlock manually. The delay is not just frustrating but may also force people to remove their masks for seamless unlocking.
Now, Apple is changing that with iOS 13.5 beta
Apple has released the third beta of iOS 13.5, bringing a minor change into this behavior of Face ID. Now, when you try unlocking with a mask on, the system instantly detects that the face is covered and jumps directly to the option to enter the passcode. From there, you can proceed to unlock the device or swipe up to continue with Face ID.
Here's how it would work
Change only works when you are wearing a mask
The change makes unlocking an iPhone seamless while wearing a mask, but that is just it. If you are not wearing a mask, the behavior of your iPhone's lock screen will remain unchanged and it will continue to authenticate you via Face ID as usual. The beta tweak will eventually come in a stable release but right now there is no word on that.
What else comes with iOS 13.5 beta?
The iOS beta version also brings the exposure notification API that Apple has developed with Google to help public health organizations track the spread of COVID-19 as well as an option to disable the speaker from growing larger in the asymmetric grid during FaceTime calls.