The spring upgrade we need.

New and noteworthy Apple launches often drop in the fall, but the tech brand just released some game-changing new software and hardware for users this spring. On April 26, Apple dropped the iOS 14.5 update for iPhone and iPad, which arrived in style with plenty of convenient new features. One of the coolest new additions: You'll now be able to unlock your phone with your face—even while wearing a face mask or covering.

Apple's FaceID—the technology that lets you unlock your device via facial recognition—has been a godsend since its first release in 2017. But it's not a flawless feature if and when your face is partially obscured—aka when you're wearing a mask or covering, an inconvenience that's been frustrating many an Apple user during the pandemic.

The iOS 14.5 update is here to help, but the catch is that you have to have an Apple Watch (an Apple Watch Series 3 or later version, to be exact). To unlock your iPhone securely and safely without removing your mask, simply glance at your iPhone while wearing the Apple Watch on your wrist (unlocked and in close proximity to your phone). Your watch will vibrate to indicate that your phone has been successfully unlocked. 

Apple iOS 14.5 Update Lets You Open Phone With FaceID While Wearing a Mask
Credit: Getty Images

Other notable features to arrive with the update include enhanced privacy controls (you can ask apps not to track your activity and data) and the ability to report incidents like vehicle accidents, road hazards, and other traffic concerns in Apple Maps (via Siri, so eyes stay on the road and hands stay on the wheel). Siri also got an upgrade, "allowing users to choose the voice that speaks to them when they first set up their device," among other inclusive improvements, according to Apple Newsroom. You'll find a streamlined Podcast app that makes it way easier to save, download, and access episodes and curated show suggestions in the Search tab for podcast inspiration and discovery. Apple News, Fitness+, Reminders, Emojis have also been given makeovers with the latest software drop.

Here's how to update your iPad or iPhone to iOS 14.5 to take advantage of these new features: Go to Settings, then General, then tap Software Update on your iPhone or iPad.