iOS 14.5 Adds an Option to Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch if You're Wearing a Mask

With the iOS 14.5 update, Apple is finally adding a solution that makes it easier to unlock an iPhone when you're wearing a mask. Right now, with a face mask on, Face ID does not work, requiring those wearing masks to enter a passcode to unlock their devices, a process that is time consuming and inconvenient.

FaceID Masked Teal
In iOS 14.5, there's a new option to unlock an ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID and an Apple Watch paired together, with the Apple Watch's authentication providing an extra layer of security.

If you're wearing an unlocked Apple Watch and use Face ID as you normally would, the ‌iPhone‌ will unlock after a partial face scan. When the unlock happens, you'll feel a haptic buzz and will receive a notification on the Apple Watch informing you that the unlocking procedure was successful, similar to how it works when unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch.

As noted by Engadget, this feature must be manually enabled to use it, and there's also an option to lock the ‌iPhone‌ from the Apple Watch. Things like App Store purchases and Apple Pay payments will not be able to be authenticated through the Face ID + Apple Watch pairing, so you'll still need full Face ID authentication or a passcode for some actions.

iOS 14.5 also introduces support for the latest Xbox and Playstation controllers, it adds AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness+, it brings dual-SIM 5G support, and there's a new feature for asking Siri to call emergency services.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

Braderunner Avatar
4 weeks ago
Now...THIS...is exciting!
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
4 weeks ago

Bummer that is doesn't work for Apple Pay but I guess I understand why.
Just use your Apple Watch to pay.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canyda Avatar
4 weeks ago

It is simply false that “Right now, with a face mask on, Face ID does not work”.
One of the selling points of FaceID is that it intelligently adapts to changes in appearance and also that it simply isn’t using a flat photo of your face. If you’ve used a mask for more than a day or two it knows. I can imagine that most people saying this have probably only left their house once over the past year. If you consistently wear the same type of face mask the same way it easily learns. Worked on my last iPhone, continued to work on my new iPhone. A day of inconvenience, but by now most people should have it working.
I've stared at my iPhone with a mask on for most of the last 200 or so days and not once has it unlocked my iPhone with Face ID.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
4 weeks ago
Great idea! seriously,

(and hilarious icon)
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clcnyc Avatar
4 weeks ago

Great, just in time to stop wearing masks! ;)
We’re not even close to that point.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Wow you guys are really going to make me get back on the beta train right now??
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...