Apple just launched the new iOS 14.5 update yesterday and one key feature is one that came directly from the pandemic.

We've become as attached to face masks as we have our phones over the past year. Much like your phone, you can't leave the house without your mask. We all know someone who is glued to their phone, and the pandemic has only made them more dependent on it. However, it's also caused a little bit of frustration for some people who us the FaceID feature.

If you use the FaceID feature to unlock your phone with your face, you've probably had a little bit of difficultly unlocking it while wearing a mask, right? Most people have since the facemasks covers the majority of your face. Well, with Apple's new iOS 14.5 software update, that problem has been resolved...there's just one catch. You have to have an Apple Watch to make it work. Those who don't have an Apple Watch, you'll have to continue to pull your mask down to unlock your phone, or just create a passcode to unlock your phone.

Here's how it works:

If you're wearing your Apple Watch, and it's in close proximity to your iPhone, you can simply glance at your phone and you'll receive a notification on your Apple Watch to let you know that your phone has been unlocked.

One thing that's important to note about this new feature is that the phone can not identify your face while wearing a mask. So it's not looking for your face with a mask on to unlock it, it's simply looking for a face with a mask on to unlock the device. This means that if someone wearing a mask looks at your phone, it could unlock. That's not necicarily a good thing. You don't want other people getting onto your phone, otherwise you wouldn't have a lock on it in the first place.

Apple, to their credit, does warn you about this issue when you turn the feature on. When your iPhone detects someone wearing a mask while your watch is nearby, your phone will unlock. However, you'll receive a haptic and a notification saying your phone has been unlocked with an option to lock it again if you weren't the one with the mask who unlocked the device. When you press the lock button on that notification, it will  immediately lock your phone and requires a passcode on next unlock.

That being said, for those who do have an Apple Watch, setting up this new feature is pretty easy to do and should take you a minute to set up.

How to unlock your iPhone with your FaceID while wearing a mask:

The new feature works with iPhone X and later and Apple Watch Series 3 and later. To set this feature up on your phone, here's what you need to do.

  • Go to Settings
  • Then select Face ID & Passcode
  • From there, scroll down to the new Unlock With Apple Watch option.
  • Toggle it on to turn on the feature.
  • Note: There's nothing that you will have to set up on your watch as it is already paired to your phone.

Apple's new iOS 14.5 update also has a few other new features including a privacy tool that will allow you to opt out of tracking across websites and apps, a new Waze-like Maps feature that allows users to report accidents and traffic delays, and more Siri voice options to name a few. You can learn more by clicking here.

(H/T- Apple)

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