Got an Apple Watch? Use Face ID with a Mask!
If you are still considering buying an Apple Watch, here is a feature that you will probably use the most frequently. While ECG and built-in oxygen monitoring are great, there are things you do more often – say, unlock your iPhone. And with an Apple Watch, you can use Face ID to unlock it with your mask still on.
Introduced in April 2021, this feature remains attractive for at least as long as the partial lockdown lasts. It’s way more convenient to unlock your phone while in a public place, with your mouth and nose covered. Setting up this feature may be a little tricky, but it’s definitely worth it.
Update Your System
The upgraded Face ID was introduced in April, with iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4. At the moment of writing this article, the current versions available are iOS 14.7.1 and watchOS 7.6. If you have been ignoring updates since before April, you better install the freshest versions. For this, do the regular procedure:
- Go to Settings/General/Software Update
- If there is a new update, tap “Download and Install” and choose whether to do it now or later;
- Follow the instructions to install the updated software;
- After the new version is installed, make sure your Apple Watch is connected;
- Run Watch app on your iPhone;
- Go to General/Software Update;
- Follow the instructions to install the newest watchOS.
We recommend updating even if you use iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 but have not updated since then. Updates always bring security patches protecting you from the latest threats.
Set It Up
So, when your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date, do the following:
- Go to Settings on your iPhone
- Go to Face ID & Passcode and enter your password if necessary (it is);
- Scroll down to the Unlock with Apple Watch section;
- Switch the toggle on.
After this, you can unlock your iPhone the usual way when your Apple Watch is on. You will need to raise your wrist to unlock your watch. When the iPhone is unlocked, your watch will notify you about this. In case it was not you who tried to unlock it, you can lock your phone back remotely by tapping one button.
Unlocking your phone after this is as quick as if your face was open. Sometimes you don’t even need gestures to ensure your Apple Watch is on.
No Watch? No Problem!
And after all these things said (you can think we’re advertising Apple Watch, and, frankly speaking, we really recommend it), there is still a way to use Face ID with a mask on even if you don’t have a smartwatch by Apple. Smartwatches and trackers by other vendors are of no use here, so no matter if you prefer a posh Garmin or an affordable Xiaomi, it still means no Apple Watch. But Face ID still works with a mask on, though not as securely.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings/Face ID & Passcode;
- Choose “Alternate Appearance”;
- Put your mask on;
- When your iPhone refuses to proceed and says “Face obstructed” (if you’re wearing the mask correctly, it will), slowly move your mask down till you can proceed;
- Move your head slowly to complete the circle when your iOS says so.
- Repeat the procedure.
- When your iPhone says “Face ID is now set up”, put your mask on and check whether it works.
Frankly speaking, it’s a half-measure. Its correct functioning is not guaranteed. In addition, removing your mask or wearing it incorrectly may jeopardize your health or personal security. Still, it’s better than no Face ID at all.
Hey, Cool Mask!
So far, Siri does not greet you like this. But maybe one day? Still, partial Face ID is the best you might expect during the lockdown. Especially if it lasts longer than we expect with these new strains. Viruses evolve, but so do humans – through gadgets.
Found it useful? Share it on your Facebook or Twitter for your friends to read about using Face ID with a mask too. Or share your own experience here in the comments if you have already tried it.