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 Forum: iOS 14

Top Rated Comments

Braderunner Avatar
22 months ago
Now...THIS...is exciting!
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
22 months 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
22 months 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
22 months ago
Great idea! seriously,

(and hilarious icon)
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clcnyc Avatar
22 months ago

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

Related Stories

FaceID Masked Triad

iOS 15.1 Beta 2 Fixes Bug Preventing iPhone 13 Users From Unlocking With Apple Watch When Masked

Tuesday September 28, 2021 10:54 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second beta of iOS 15.1 to developers, and the update includes a fix for an annoying bug that's been affecting iPhone 13 owners who also have an Apple Watch. With beta 2, the Unlock with Apple Watch feature that was broken has been fixed, and an authenticated Apple Watch can once again be used to unlock an iPhone 13 model when wearing a mask. Prior to the update,...
iOS 15

Apple Releasing iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 Next Week

Tuesday March 8, 2022 10:22 am PST by
Apple today said iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 will be available to all users next week, following weeks of developer and public beta testing. iOS 15.4 includes major new features for iPhone users, with the most notable perhaps being the ability for users to unlock their iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mask. Apple said that it's been able to update the Face ID system to uniquely identify...
macbook pro 2021 notch feature

Technology to Embed Face ID into MacBook Displays 'Doesn't Exist,' Says Gurman

Monday February 7, 2022 4:07 am PST by
Apple's first Mac with Face ID is unlikely to be a MacBook because the technology necessary to embed the authentication hardware into a thin notebook display still doesn't exist, according to well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Gurman's latest thoughts on the subject appeared in the Q&A section of his latest "Power On" newsletter. On whether Face ID will ever come to the Mac,...
7

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers

Wednesday March 31, 2021 10:02 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week release of the fifth beta and over two months after the launch of watchOS 7.3 with "Time to Walk" functionality, expanded ECG availability, and a new Unity watch face. To install the ‌watchOS 7.4 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration ...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4's Face ID With a Mask Feature Requires iPhone 12 or Newer

Thursday January 27, 2022 1:22 pm PST by
In today's iOS 15.4 beta that's available to developers, Apple added a useful new feature that changes the way Face ID works. There's now a Face ID with a Mask option that allows the iPhone to be unlocked when you're wearing a mask, but you need to have an iPhone 12 or newer. Right now, an iPhone can be unlocked with a mask if you have an Apple Watch for authentication to add an extra layer...
apple mask mandates

Apple Ending Mask Mandates in Many Stores, Plans to Reintroduce In-Person Classes

Tuesday February 22, 2022 2:18 pm PST by
Apple is no longer requiring customers to wear masks when visiting Apple Stores in many locations across the United States, reports Bloomberg. Apple has dropped mask mandates following changes in local guidelines and a reduction in COVID-19 cases. Employees have been informed of the mask updates, and Apple has also updated its website to provide details on which locations are no longer...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 With Face ID Mask Unlock, New Emoji, Universal Control, and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:45 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 come a month after the launch of iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1. The iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

Face ID Dual-Hole Design to Be Limited to iPhone 14 Pro Models in 2022, But Expanding to All iPhones in 2023

Monday March 7, 2022 11:25 am PST by
Apple is planning to replace the notch in some of the iPhone 14 models that are launching this year, with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max set to gain a design that features a pill-shaped cutout that will house the Face ID elements and a second hole for the selfie camera. We've heard this rumor multiple times before, but display analyst Ross Young today reiterated his expectations for the...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
magsafe charger orange

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware

Tuesday October 4, 2022 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that is designed to work with the iPhone 12 and later and the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 10M1821, up from the prior 10M229 firmware. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a different version number than the firmware number, with the update displayed as version 255.0.0.0 (the prior firmware was 247.0.0.0). The...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...