iOS 15.4: using Face ID with a mask requires at least an iPhone 12

It is possible to unlock your iPhone with Face ID, while leaving a mask, thanks to iOS 15.4. But there is a big but: it will require having at least an iPhone 12.

iOS 15.4 Beta 1 Face ID With Mask

Not everyone will be able to use Face ID with a mask

Those with an iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max can use Face ID with a mask, as can those with an iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max. But for people with an iPhone 11 or an earlier model, you must either enter your code by hand or remove the mask while unlocking. Another solution allows you to unlock your iPhone while keeping the mask on, but this requires having an Apple Watch. There are significantly more people who don’t have Apple’s smartwatch, so those people are going to be in trouble if they don’t have a recent iPhone.

Apple does not explain why the new possibility with iOS 15.4 is not available on “old” iPhones. Perhaps the sensors for Face ID have evolved slightly with the latest models, which allows sufficient detection around the eyes to validate or not the unlocking. Or else, Apple believes that a powerful and recent chip is needed to perform this operation. 9to5Mac indicates at the same time that the use with a mask does not work with the iPad Pro of 2018.

The only hope iPhone 11 or earlier owners have is that with the upcoming betas of iOS 15.4, the situation will change and unlocking even while wearing a mask will expand to more models.

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