Apple makes it (slightly) less annoying to unlock your iPhone with a mask on

Have you struggled to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask?

Well, Apple will soon have a fix for that. Sort of.

On Wednesday, developers enrolled in the Apple Developer Program noticed an interesting change in the new iOS 13.5 beta 3 release that will be quite helpful during the coronavirus pandemic: users can now input their passcode on the first unlock screen if they are wearing a mask.

Currently, when an iPhone user swipes to unlock their device, the phone will immediately try to scan their face if Face ID is enabled. If they are wearing a mask, the user must tap the Face ID prompt or wait for the face scan to fail before they can unlock their phone by typing in their passcode on a second screen.

The new update removes the wait for the Face ID unlock to fail. When the iPhone user first swipes to unlock, the device will attempt to scan their face while also offering a passcode input option on the same screen. This change has been by .

It only prompts you to enter a passcode if the device detects that your mouth is covered. If you’re not wearing a mask, Face ID will work normally. 

Along with this change, the new iOS beta includes COVID-19 notifications, and fixes the most annoying thing about Group FaceTime

To be clear, the update doesn’t change how Face ID works. It still needs to see your mouth if you want to unlock the phone without entering a passcode. 

Apple explained why Face ID isn’t compatible with face masks earlier this month.

“Face ID is designed to work with your eyes, nose, and mouth visible,” said an Apple spokeswoman in a statement provided to the . “Users can still unlock their devices while wearing a mask by entering their passcode.”

Yes, while this is true, I’ve experienced how annoying this issue is at the grocery store while trying to pick up some essential items. Every time I need to check my shopping list, I first have to wait for Face ID to fail.

Sadly, the new iOS beta has not been publicly released. There are currently two options for users who are sick of repeating this process over and over again. 

Users can Face ID completely and input their passcode each time they want to unlock their device. Or iPhone owners can also try and utilize a workaround that involves taking a new Face ID scan with a mask covering half your mouth. Users found it can work depending on the angle they hold their phone.

Besides turning off Face ID or using a weird trick,  most iPhone users will just need to hang in there and wait for the new iOS update to be released to the public.

UPDATE: April 29, 2020, 5:32 p.m. EDT This piece was updated to add additional information on how to currently move on from the Face ID screen to input your iPhone passcode.

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