Unlocking your iPhone while wearing a face mask is difficult, but here's the 1 trick that made Apple's Face ID work for me
Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider
- Apple's Face ID doesn't work when your face is obstructed, making it difficult to quickly unlock your iPhone while wearing a protective face mask.
- There is no easy, convenient way to get around this, but one trick discovered by the Tencent Security Xuanwu Lab worked for me, but only under specific circumstances.
- A more practical solution may be adjusting your notifications settings so that you can view incoming alerts without unlocking your iPhone.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
If you're an iPhone owner, you've probably recently dealt with the inconvenience of having to type in a passcode to unlock your iPhone.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing face coverings in public places where standing six feet apart from others may be difficult - like the grocery store, for instance.
That means you probably won't be able to unlock your iPhone using Face ID, Apple's facial recognition system, while running errands. It's not by any means the most important coronavirus concern right now, but it can be a minor annoyance.
That may be especially true for those looking to reduce the number of times they touch their phone's screen while out in public to avoid the spread of germs.
If you're hoping to find a way around this, I have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad: There doesn't seem to be any easy, foolproof way to get Face ID to work while wearing a mask.
That's because Face ID creates a depth map by projecting and analyzing more than 30,000 invisible dots over your face, so it's looking for areas like your nose and mouth every time it attempts to unlock your phone. Even if you try wearing a mask during the setup process, your iPhone will notice if your face is partially obstructed and will urge you to remove any coverings before proceeding.
Now the good news: I did manage to find one approach that worked for me. It's based on a tutorial from the Tencent Security Xuanwu Lab, first discovered by Abacus News, a tech site specializing in coverage of Chinese gadgets. That method involves re-enrolling your face with Face ID while holding your mask over half of your face.
But even so, it only works under very specific circumstances, and I had to try enrolling my face a few times before I managed to get it working. It's also worth noting that others have tried this method and found it unsuccessful.
The effectiveness may also vary depending on the type of mask you're wearing. For this test, I wore a homemade mask that covers the bottom portion of my face - from the tip of my nose and below - that I created using a folded bandana and two hair ties.
Here's a look at how I got Face ID to work for me while wearing a mask.
First, reset Face ID on your iPhone.
Then, take your face mask and fold it in half. Hold it up so that it covers one side of your face, as shown below.
Now it's time to re-enroll in Face ID while covering half of your face with your mask.
Follow the on-screen prompts to register your face with Face ID.
Then, put on your mask fully and try unlocking your iPhone.
But adjusting your notifications settings may be a more reliable and practical alternative.
To get started, open your iPhone's Settings menu and press Notifications.
Then, go back to the main Settings menu and choose Face ID & Passcode.
- 10 cafes in Bangalore offering the best of ambiance and cuisine
- Centre's fiscal deficit at Aug-end touches 36% of full-year target: CGA
- Domestic occupiers keep office space demand high in 2023
- Nifty, Sensex bounce back on Friday but experts see resistance at higher levels
- Temperature's Toll: Hospitals see a surge in drug and alcohol abuse-related visits on hotter nights, study reveals