Today’s release of iOS 15.4 includes the major new addition of Face ID recognition support while wearing a mask. Unfortunately, this feature is limited to newer iPhones. Apple hasn’t released specific availability details, but it looks like this feature only works on iPhone 12 and newer.
Face ID with mask details
Apple explains that it scans “unique features around the eye area” to authenticate you with Face ID while wearing a mask. Apparently, this is a more resource-intensive process than a traditional Face ID scan, so Apple is limiting it to newer iPhone and iPad models.
According to our tests, the “Use Face ID with a mask” function is available on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 mini. iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13. Pro Max.
On the iPad side, we have confirmed that the “Use Face ID with Mask” feature is not supported on any iPad model.
If you have an iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone 11 and you can’t use this new mask unlock feature, you have another option. Apple initially rolled out support for unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask last year. This, of course, requires you to have an Apple Watch, but you can read more about using this feature here.
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