Unlock a Phone While Wearing a Face Covering With Apple's FaceID Update

A welcome update from Apple.

On April 26, 2021, Apple dropped the iOS 14.5 update for iPhone and iPad, which arrived in style with plenty of convenient features. One of the coolest additions: the ability to unlock phones with your face—even while wearing a face covering.

Apple's FaceID—the technology that allows for unlocking devices 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 (e.g., if you're wearing a mask or covering).

The iOS 14.5 update was made 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, glance at your iPhone while wearing the Apple Watch on your wrist (unlocked and close 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
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Other notable features that arrived 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 easier to save, download, and access episodes and curated show suggestions in the Search tab for podcast inspiration and discovery. Apple News, Fitness+, Reminders, and Emojis have also been given makeovers.

Update your iPad or iPhone to iOS 14.5 to take advantage of these features: Go to Settings, then General, then tap Software Update on your iPhone or iPad.

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