iOS 15.4 lets you use Face ID with a mask (no Apple Watch)

(Pocket Ribbon) – Although Apple just released iOS 15.3, it is already moving forward with iOS 15.4, releasing a beta version for developers.

The software update is not yet officially available to the public; it is only available to developers for testing. But it does introduce a particularly exciting new feature: the ability to unlock your iPhone via Face ID while wearing a mask — no Apple Watch required. Apple said that with iOS 15.4 beta, the iPhone can now “recognize the unique features around the eye to verify,” but it noted that Face ID is still most accurate when set up for full facial recognition.

The feature also works if you wear glasses, but not sunglasses.

Keep in mind that Apple has long allowed iPhone users to unlock their device via Face ID – as long as they owned and used an Apple Watch as a key.

With the new beta version of iOS 15.4 for developers, however, Apple hopes to get rid of that clunky requirement. But you still need to enable the option. In the Face ID & Passcode section of the Settings app on your iPhone, select “Use Face ID with a mask” to get started. It’s that quick and easy.

It’s important to note that the public won’t be able to use the Face ID with a masking feature until iOS 15.4 releases, and even then Apple could pull it out of the official release due to bugs. Still, the fact that developers can test it now is a good sign that it’s coming sooner rather than later.

Written by Maggie Tillman.

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