Since mouth masks have become part of everyday life, there is an annoyance that many iPhone users struggle with: Face ID. Because of the mouth mask , your face cannot be recognized and you have to enter the code manually. Apple has come up with something for that, the Apple Watch will soon be able to unlock your iPhone.
The thing is, in the beta of iOS 14.5 , a new feature has been added that makes it possible to unlock your iPhone when wearing an Apple Watch. The condition is that Face ID recognizes that you are wearing a mouth mask and that the Apple Watch is unlocked.
Face ID and a mouth mask
For Face ID, the TrueDepth camera places 30,000 invisible infrared dots on your face, so that a detailed 3D scan can be made. This will then be processed and when your face is recognized your iPhone will be unlocked or a task will be performed. The TrueDepth camera looks at various (unique) aspects of your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth.
A mouth mask covers your nose and mouth and, as we know, Face ID will not work. IOS and iPadOS do recognize that you are wearing a mouth mask. That is why your iDevice, after a swipe up, immediately shows the code panel so that you can manually unlock your device with the access code. With iOS 14.5, Apple goes one step further and it becomes possible to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch.
Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch
To unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch, iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 must be installed. These software versions are currently in beta and are officially expected in March. When your iPhone and Apple Watch have been updated, you can follow the steps below.
- Open Settings
- Navigate to ‘Face ID and Passcode’
- Enter your access code
- Scroll down to ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’
- Enable the Watch in the list
If you now wear a mouth mask and you want to unlock your iPhone, iOS will check if you are wearing an Apple Watch. When the watch is unlocked and nearby, your iPhone will automatically unlock without you having to enter a passcode.
For the time being, the function only works for unlocking your iPhone, payments with Apple Pay or opening apps with Face ID still require a passcode.
Technology also available for Mac
The technique to unlock a device with your Apple Watch is not new. Since the launch of the smart watch, it has been possible to unlock your Mac with an Apple Watch . You can also unlock passwords and apps on a Mac using your Apple Watch.