Apple has just released the developer beta of iOS 14.5 that has incorporated a new feature that makes it possible to unlock an iPhone using Face ID even while putting on a facemask. The feature in the Apple watch is called Unlock iPhone, and if it scales through the beta testing, then masked iPhone users who have an unlocked Apple Watch on their wrist will have Face ID automatically unlocked when Apple’s facial recognition system determines that they are wearing a mask. This is possible because the watch would have already verified a user’s Passcode to unlock the watch.
Last year March, as COVID-19 bore its fangs on the global populace and the use of facemasks were made compulsory, iPhone users found that Face ID was blocked from unlocking their devices forcing them to open the Passcode input screen. To prevent users from taking their masks off, even for a second, and putting themselves at risk of catching COVID-19, Apple added a new feature in iOS 13.5 last May. If Apple’s facial recognition algorithm detects an authentic user wearing a mask, the Passcode screen comes up immediately instead of waiting for the mask to generate an incorrect Face ID result.
Also included in the iOS 14.5 developer version is the new App Tracking Transparency feature that asks users whether they want to opt-in so that they can be tracked by third-party apps and continue to receive tracked ads on their phone.
To install the iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 developer betas, you first need to register as an iOS developer. Here are the steps to do that.
- Go to: https://developer.apple.com/enroll/.
- Select ‘ Start Your Enrollment ‘.
- Sign in using an existing Apple ID create a new Apple ID.
After that, sign up to become an iOS beta tester. To do that head to https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/ and tap on the button that says “Sign up.” Use your Apple ID to continue and follow the directions on the screen. When Apple drops its public betas, those who joined the beta program can download and install the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Keep in mind that beta versions of operating systems are not stable. If you are using your iPhone as a daily driver, give it some deep thought before deciding whether to become an iOS beta tester.
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