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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today added a new feature designed to allow Face ID to be used with a mask and without an Apple Watch for authentication.


Apple says that the feature can "recognize the unique features around the eye" for authentication purposes. If you opt to use this feature during setup, you will need to rescan your face for Face ID. From there, Face ID will be able to unlock your iPhone even when you're wearing a mask.

In the Settings app, there's a new "Use Face ID with a Mask" toggle that can be turned on or off if you change your mind about the mask, and there's a new feature to "Add Glasses" to make Face ID more accurate when you're wearing glasses and a mask at the same time.


Apple warns in the Settings app that Face ID is "most accurate" when it's set up for full-face recognition only. For Face ID with a mask to work, you must be looking at your device to get it to unlock, and it does not work when wearing sunglasses. Face ID with a mask can authenticate Apple Pay payments and it can be used in lieu of a login and password in apps that support Face ID, unlike the prior Apple Watch Face ID feature.

It looks like the Face ID with a mask feature requires an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 model, as the feature is not available for users who have the iPhone 11 at this time.

Article Link: iOS 15.4 Beta Lets You Use Face ID With a Mask On
Last edited:


macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2008
Tokyo, Japan
I wonder how much of a hit the security takes from only verifying half a face. quite I big hit, I'd reckon. May finally be time to retire my iPhone 8 Plus which I still use whenever I'm out and about or in the presence of others because it was the last flagship iPhone to come with a print sensor.


macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
Florida, USA
Would be nice if it required a passcode or full face authentication at least twice a day, to reduce the attack surface if you become separated from your phone.

8 hours sounds like a good time limit. Gets you through a work shift and most outings where you'd be wearing a mask.
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Apr 1, 2021
"Finally!" The Apple Watch unlock feature has been clutch for me but this is also good.
apple watch is a savior for me not for mask but for motorcycle helmets, this will be better i have a feeling it’s probably faster hope it works with a motorcycle helmet


macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2020
Better late than never but I wonder how much of a security hit this takes since most of your face is behind a mask. Would glasses mess up looking at the features around your eyes or at least reduce the uniqueness since the dot projector would "see" the flat lenses instead of the contours around your eyes?
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