iOS 15.4 Will Let You ‘Use Face ID with a Mask’ on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch and Face ID

The iOS 15.4 update is now available to developers and Apple has added a useful new feature that could allow you to use Face ID even when you’re wearing a face mask.

The new option changes how Face ID works, but requires an iPhone 12 or a newer model to work. The new feature allows Face ID to scan the area around the eye when you’re wearing a mask. The iPhone will unlock the iPhone if it recognizes your Face ID. The new implementation is less secure but certainly beats Unlock with Apple Watch in terms of convenience.

On the downside, the improved Face ID is limited to only the newest iPhones, although Face ID itself has been around for several years now. Face ID would work with a mask only on iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max models. It also works on all the iPhone 13 models.


The set-up screen for the feature notes that it doesn’t work with sunglasses but you could set it up to recognize the spectacles you wear regularly. That said, Apple has not provided an explanation what Face ID with a mask is limited to the newer iPhone models while the iPhone 11 and older devices miss out.

Our Take

We believe the requisite hardware for Face ID could have evolved over the years making the option unviable for older devices from a security standpoint. Additionally, the feature is currently in beta and it is possible that Apple will roll it out to older iPhones in future beta releases.

Do you prefer the Unlock with Apple Watch feature or would you use the new Face ID with a mask? Tell us in the comments section.

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