Apple Watch should solve mask problem with iPhone Face ID

Apple is testing iOS 14.5 in the developer beta. The update brings a few important new features. Including the possibility to finally get around the annoying mask problem of Face ID.

The iPhone’s biometric unlocking method has proven extremely impractical in the corona pandemic. At a time when wearing a mask is simply a part of it, scanning the face with Face ID is completely useless. Most manufacturers of the Android competition therefore rely on fingerprint sensors, many of which are located directly under the screen. Unfortunately, the iPhone 12, which was launched amid the pandemic, still only has Face ID.

Also read: Should I install the new iOS 14.4 directly?

iOS 14.5 with solution for the Face ID problem

Apple is aware of the problem and has been working on solutions to bypass Face ID for some time. A long time ago, the company delivered an update to speed up the unlocking process. In essence, this only resulted in the passcode entry appearing immediately when Face ID recognizes a mask in front of the face. Not an optimal solution compared to quick unlocking with one swipe.

With iOS 14.5, there should be a better solution that will make it easier for at least some iPhone owners to use their smartphones again. The prerequisite for this: an Apple Watch.

It is already possible now to unlock a Mac with the Apple Watch. You can also unlock the Apple Watch with the iPhone. However, the reverse has not yet been possible. With the developer beta of iOS 14.5, Apple is testing exactly this function. When the iPhone screen is switched on, the Apple Watch sends a haptic feedback – a small indication that the iPhone has just been unlocked. Of course, this only works if the watch is close to the iPhone. And only when the Apple Watch is unlocked.

However, the workaround to bypass Face ID only works to unlock it. The passcode is still required for purchases in the App Store and when paying with Apple Pay. In addition, the iPhone asks for the passcode every few hours to be on the safe side, even if unlocking via Apple Watch is switched on.

Rumor has it that Apple could bring back Touch ID with the iPhone 13 to finally eliminate the mask problem with Face ID. A solution with a fingerprint sensor under the screen is conceivable, which is already being used successfully in many Android smartphones. You can find more information about the new features in the iPhone 13 in our overview .

Face ID may be more secure than fingerprint sensors. However, when wearing a mask, it is completely useless.

Other new features in iOS 14.5

Transparent control over advertising tracking

In iOS 14.5, Apple will give iPhone owners full control over advertising tracking for the first time. Similar to access to the camera and memory, pop-ups appear asking if you want to activate advertising tracking for certain apps. With tracking, services like Facebook and Google can keep track of which apps you install, which pages you visit and much more. So far, tracking was switched on by default, now you have to actively agree – or reject it. Facebook has already sued against it and started an image campaign against Apple’s actions, as it fears financial losses due to the new transparency. The company is currently sending pop-ups to users asking them to turn on ad tracking.

Dual SIM with 5G support

The iPhone 12 is dual-SIM capable, but so far it only worked with an LTE connection. Only in China was there 5G connectivity in dual SIM mode. With iOS 14.5, Apple is now activating this feature worldwide so that the faster speed is also available in other countries.

Expanded compatibility with gaming controllers

Anyone who uses the iPhone for gaming or cloud gaming can be happy. With the new update, the DualSense controller of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X controller are also compatible with the iPhone.

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