As coronavirus brings the whole world to a standstill, we sitting ducks have to take significant precautions at our ends. Government advisories around the world have asked people (and made it mandatory in some places) to increase the usage of face masks in public to avoid further spread of the deadly pandemic. However, as essential as masks are, we’ve all faced the challenge of using Face ID with masks on to unlock our iPhones, haven’t we?
It’s times of crisis that bring out the best in us. And so, some researchers from China’s Tencent Xuanwu lab have found a way to work around Apple’s technology, making it actually possible to use Face ID with masks! Here’s how this Face ID mask hack works:
Making your camera recognise you with a mask
Face ID works by projecting almost 30,000 laser dots on your face and scanning for your eyes, nose, and mouth every time it attempts to unlock your phone. Without these visible, Face ID cannot recognise you—which is why Face ID doesn’t work with masks. However, Cult of Mac recently reported a good enough workaround for this! Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Reset your Face IDs first. Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode
Here, you can choose to Reset Face ID (to remove your previous Face IDs) or you can Set Up an Alternative Appearance.
Step 2. Fold the mask into half and hold it to your face, keeping the other half of your face open to the camera.
Step 3. Here’s where it gets challenging. It might take a few tries, and your phone might show you some warnings at first, claiming “Face Obstructed”. In that case, adjust your mask a little or slightly change your face orientation and try again. You’ll have to play around with how much your face is covered until the system tells you to “Move your head slowly to complete the circle.”
Step 4. Complete the circle and save your Face ID. If you get a message saying “Face ID is now set up”, you’ve successfully saved your Face ID with a mask on!
Step 5. All done! The only thing you need to do now is check if your Face ID works by locking and unlocking your phone.
If you’re facing difficulty, you can also try disabling “Require Attention for Face ID”. However, disabling this feature will reduce an extra level of security for your iPhone, as this essentially means that you won’t need to be looking at your iPhone to unlock it. Beware the risks of that! (And try to keep mischievous siblings away.)
While this Face ID mask hack is certainly beneficial for all of us who need to step out of our house, essential workers will surely be relieved now that they won’t always have to input their passcodes while working. This hack took us quite a few tries, so do let us know how it worked out for you. We’ll be keeping an eye on the comments!