While the pandemic has refused to go away, companies are learning to work their way around some of its restrictions with the iPhone soon to allow Face ID even with a mask on. Also, the iPhone may soon begin to accept contactless payments.
Remember the frustration you felt the last time you had to remove your mask to unlock your iPhone with Face ID? Say no more because Apple will soon make sure it is a thing of the past. The popular smartphone will soon work with Face ID even with half of your face covered by a mask, going by a feature that has been noticed in the developer beta of iOS version 15.4. Users get a screen asking if they want to enable Face ID with a mask in the settings. The drawback is reduced security.
Another drawback is you can only use this feature on the latest iPhone hardware. These include the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Some 2018 iPad Pro owners have reported the feature didn’t work for them.
Screenshots of the feature show Apple’s explanation that it can authenticate you based on the unique features around your eyes alone but include the warning that it is less safe.
Before this, Apple tried various means to help avoid problems with masks during Face ID authentication. For example, it added a method to detect if the owner is wearing a mask and ask for a passcode instead of wasting time trying to authenticate with Face ID. The company also allowed people wearing masks to unlock their iPhones using their Apple Watches.
Other features in the update include the option to copy texts from physical objects using the camera while inside the Notes and Reminders app. Apple also included support for adaptive triggers on the PS5 DualSense controller, a slew of brand new emojis, a widget for Apple Card, etc.
However, a more significant addition to the new update is the ability to accept contactless payment without the need for extra hardware, according to a report by Bloomberg. Apple might bundle the feature in the final version of the iOS 15.4, expected to be out later in the spring.
Apple had been building out this feature since its acquisition of Canadian Mobeewave, a startup that produced a technology that allows phones to function as payment portals. The company’s tech is far simpler than its competitors because it only needed NFC to work, which most phones have.
It is not known yet whether this new feature will become part of Apple Pay or exist on its own, but if it is any indication, Mobeewave has been folded into the payments division of Apple.
Prior to being purchased by Apple in 2020, Mobeewave worked with Samsung to make its phones work like contactless payment terminals. The feature was released in Canada, but its fate remains unknown now that Mobeewave is part of Apple.