iOS 15.4 Will Let You Pay With Apple Pay Using Face ID While Wearing a Mask

Apple yesterday released the first developers beta of iOS 15.4 with several notable new features. Perhaps the biggest is the ability to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask, without requiring an Apple Watch to do so. In another noteworthy addition, you can now also authenticate Apple Pay transactions while wearing a mask for the first time.

face id mask
With the release of iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 last year, Apple added the ability for users wearing a mask to unlock their iPhone when wearing an Apple Watch, eliminating the need to enter a passcode instead. However, while "Unlock with Apple Watch" allows users to unlock their device while wearing a mask, other features that rely on Face ID, such as ‌Apple Pay‌ and in-app authentication, do not work.

That will change when iOS 15.4 is released to the public, after which users will also be able to make ‌Apple Pay‌ purchases and use ‌Face ID‌ within apps when wearing a face covering. That said, Apple is warning that using ‌Face ID‌ with a mask is less secure, and the biometric authentication system remains "most accurate" when used with full-face recognition.

To enable ‌Face ID‌ while wearing a mask, an iPhone "can recognize the unique features around the eye area to authenticate," according to Apple. The feature in the first beta is limited only to the iPhone 12 and later, meaning users of older ‌iPhone‌ models will miss out. Alongside ‌Face ID‌ with a mask, Apple has also added the ability to configure ‌Face ID‌ while wearing glasses.

iOS and iPadOS 15.4 are likely to be released to the public later this Spring and include new emojis, an Apple Card widget, Universal Control, and more. Check out everything new in the first beta with our roundup.

Related Forum: iOS 15

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Top Rated Comments

44267547 Avatar
32 months ago

…Only 2 years late, we locked down in January 2020.
Are you a software engineer?

I ask, because comments like yours doesn’t indicate that we understand the full context of why this feature took as long as it did. I think we need to be open minded here.

The reality is, we don’t know if this was a hardware implementation that required tweaking advancements of the iPhone as it progresses with Face ID, just as much as it was software collaboration to make this feature possible. I’m guessing both had to come to fruition for this to be finally ready.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
32 months ago

Ummmm.... my prediction is this will be hacked shortly.

Please, elaborate.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DanTSX Avatar
32 months ago

If you use an Apple Watch to unlock your phone while wearing a mask then it means you can Apple Pay with the Watch, no need to remove your mask, regardless of iOS or iPhone version.
Or you can just Apple Pay with the watch…
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reeneman Avatar
32 months ago
15.4 seems like the very solid and kind of exciting update we’ve been waiting for since the 15.0 release.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
32 months ago

I’m not sure you can say it has less info. Seems like it has more.
How? Your face is covered that’s less facial info
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
32 months ago

Or you can just Apple Pay with the watch…
This. So much this.

I don't make payments on my phone any more because the watch is so much more convenient.

Especially here in London as you can use it for TFL (local transit for the folk not in the UK) universally just by waving it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)