iOS 15.4 adds support for using Face ID while wearing a mask without requiring an Apple Watch

In light of the ongoing pandemic, facial recognition used for biometric security on devices like the iPhone can be a bit of a pain point for everyday users. Apple has tried to work around the issue of mask wearing, but for folks without an Apple Watch it doesn’t do a lot of good. But, finally, Apple has figured out another option.

With the seeding of iOS 15.4, it has been revealed that Apple is adding a feature that allows iPhone owners with a device using Face ID to unlock the handset while wearing a mask. All without requiring the user also be wearing an Apple Watch. This has been one of the more oft-requested features for iOS and the iPhone lineup ever since mask wearing became so important.

It took a bit of time, but better late than never.

The new feature was first discovered by Twitter user Brandon Butch:

As you can see in the image, Apple is still suggesting folks use the full Face ID element to secure their device to the best of its ability. However, they can switch on the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask, which will allow the biometric security feature to “recognize the unique features around the eye area.”

Face ID is most accurate when it’s set up for full-face recognition only. To use Face ID while wearing a mask, iPhone can recognize the unique features around the eye are to authenticate.

This will allow users to choose how they want Face ID to recognize them. If you work in an industry where wearing a mask is required for the majority of time, this will be a welcomed addition. It’s especially good news for folks who don’t have an Apple Watch, but still have to deal with this particular issue.

Resource: How to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

The first beta of iOS 15.4 is available now, but there’s no word yet when we can expect to see Apple launch the new software to the public.