More on Face ID with a mask: Only on iPhone 12 and 13, Apple Pay works


Apple Pay with a mask in iOS 15.4
A big upgrade over Unlock with Apple Watch.

Apple on Thursday rolled out its first iOS 15.4 beta adding the ability to use Face ID with a mask for the first time. Since then, tests carried out by developers have uncovered some additional (and important) tidbits.

Here’s what you need to know.

More on using Face ID with a mask

Apple first tried to eliminate iPhone unlocking frustrations for mask wearers with Unlock with Apple Watch — a feature first introduced with iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 last February. But now you don’t need an Apple Watch.

iOS 15.4 lets you use Face ID with a mask. When you take advantage of this option, it uses the “unique features around the eye area” to verify who you are. Apple warns, however, that it’s not as accurate as full-face recognition.

And then are some other things to note. Firstly, Face ID with a mask is only available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. This is believed to be because it requires more intensive processing (because it has less to work with) than normal.

What’s more, you can use Face ID with a mask for Apple Pay and to unlock protected apps. This is a big upgrade over Unlock with Apple Watch, which make you remove your mask or enter your passcode to use these things.

iOS 15.4 on the way

In addition to Face ID with a mask, iOS 15.4 adds a new Wallet widget, more than 30 new emoji, and fixes a bug that prevented third-party apps from taking advantage of iPhone 13 Pro’s super-smooth ProMotion display.

The update is only available to registered developers for now. But, assuming no significant issues arise, it should be rolled out to the public soon.


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