Daily Show joke raises awareness of Face ID trick for iPhone owners wearing masks


Trevor Noah iPhone 1
Noah says Apple's taking us back to a time before coronavirus.
Photo: Daily Show

On Trevor Noah’s Daily Social Distancing Show, the comedian addressed Apple’s decision to make it easier for users to skip Face ID for passcodes on their iPhone, due to the challenges of unlocking them while wearing a protective mask.

“This is the genius of Apple,” he said. “They’re trying to take us back in time. Because if we’re back in time, there’s no corona.” Check out the clip below.

Trevor Noah’s full comments are as follows:

“Because this pandemic has forced people to wear masks all the time, a lot of iPhone users have noticed that unlocking your phone with your face doesn’t work anymore. And I mean, it makes sense. You have a mask on. So the phone can’t recognize you how nobody can recognize you. Except that guy at the bank who says he somehow recognized me. And then the jury bought his story. Three years later, here we are.

Anyway, it’s been reported that Apple is about to launch a new feature to fix this problem by letting people punch in a secret code that unlocks the phone. Yeah, I know. I know what the haters are gonna say, Oh, we had this technology years ago. Yeah, exactly. This is the genius of Apple. They’re trying to take us back in time. Because if we’re back in time, there’s no corona.”

Okay, so it’s not the funniest comedy bit in history. But it is, at least, a good way of highlighting what could otherwise be missed as a fairly minor tweak on an incremental iPhone upgrade. Released Wednesday, the beta version of iOS 13.5 lets users skip Face ID to immediately ask for a passcode if it detects the user is wearing a mask. It’s a tiny, but very neat, feature.

Alternatively, you can train Face ID to recognize you while wearing a mask. However, this requires you to fold or cut a protective mask. Or you can try out this Face ID-skipping pro tip.