You May Soon Be Able to Unlock Your iPhone While Wearing a Mask — but There’s a Catch

Black man wearing a mask walking with his iPhone

It's a fairly new dilemma people are facing when they're on the go: Do we take off our masks to unlock our phone, or do we wait for the passcode to come up.

Juggling your phone, your mask, your winter gloves, and all the things you carry may seem like a small problem, but it's still a common nuisance people are dealing with during COVID-19. But Apple is now testing a new way to unlock your phone as seamlessly as possible. As long as you have more than one device on you, that is.

According to CNN, Apple is now testing new iOS software that allows you to open your phone using Face ID without having to touch your face mask. The new technology would only work if the user is also wearing a synced Apple Watch in order to verify the person's identity. For security reasons, the technology would still require people to enter their passcodes for Apple Pay, the App Store, or iTunes purchases while wearing a mask, CNN reported.

It's especially good if you're stuck between removing your mask or removing your winter gloves in order to answer a text. Or, alternatively, if you need to unlock your phone quickly, like in an emergency situation.

It's certainly a convenient update for Apple fans who have their watch permanently attached to their wrist, as well as Apple itself. For everyone else, they would have to buy yet another product in order to use the technology. For reference, the Apple Watch's retail price begins at $199.

But if you are not an Apple Watch user, the company is still finding new ways to make unlocking your phone a little faster and easier. Back in May, Apple tested a new iOS update that makes devices switch to the passcode in a quicker and more streamlined way if Face ID does not recognize them.

There is currently no date for rolling out the latest technology, according to CNN, but will likely be in the near future.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.

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