The health crisis against Covid-19 has generalized the use of masks. The mask, which covers the nose and the entire lower part of the face, rendered Face ID unusable for several months. The facial recognition of the iPhone indeed needed to scan the entire face of the user to unlock the device.
To adapt to the constraints of the pandemic, Apple has incorporated several changes into the code of iOS 14. If the iPhone detects the presence of a mask, the unlock code is automatically requested. Additionally, Apple allows Apple Watch users to unlock their iPhone with Face ID even if they are wearing a mask.
With iOS 15.4, Apple will go even further to make life easier for users who don’t have a connected watch. With this update, Face ID will be able to recognize you even if you are hiding behind a sanitary mask. To achieve this, facial recognition is then content with a partial scan of the face , focusing on the visible area. Face ID then compares the top part, including the eyes, with information from its database to unlock the iPhone.
iOS 15.4 is coming next week with Face ID unlock when wearing a mask
Until now only accessible in beta version, the iOS 15.4 update will be deployed on all compatible iPhones from the week of March 14. Apple announced the imminent rollout of the update during the iPhone SE 5G, Mac Studio, and iPad Air keynote. Given Apple’s habits, it is likely that the firmware will be available on Monday March 14, 2022 during the evening.
As the version approaches, Apple has deployed the Release Candidate, an almost finalized version, for members of the beta program. The changelog for this update suggests that the Face ID with mask option will be available for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Previous models will be not get the feature.
Recently, Apple announced a series of updates to its AirTag trackers that are designed to make it harder for these devices to covertly spy on people. Now it became known that these innovations appeared in the beta version of iOS 15.4. For example, now when setting up AirTag for the first time, users will see a warning that tracking with a tracker is illegal.
Earlier, Apple representatives reported that the company has repeatedly cooperated with law enforcement agencies in order to track cases of misuse of AirTag trackers. Therefore, users should take seriously the notice that the device should not be in use to spy on people; without their consent.
Back in the iOS 15.4 beta, a bug was fixed; due to which users could see the message “unknown accessory detected”. Many users perceived it as a sign of AirTag surveillance; but in fact, such a notification may associate with devices from other manufacturers that are compatible with the network. These and other changes aimed at improving the security of AirTag trackers may become part of the stable version of iOS 15.4.