iPhone owners are noticing a problem they didn’t have before COVID-19: they can’t use the Face ID option on their iPhone to turn their phones on. The mask obscures a good portion of their face, which means the phone, which has to “see” your eyes, nose and mouth, doesn’t recognize you as you.
Leave it to somebody to figure out how possibly fix the problem.
Even before coronavirus, healthcare professionals and others who typically wore PPE or other types of face masks for their job learned a long time ago that if your face is obscured, your iPhone won’t recognize you. After all, Face ID is made to be used with your eyes, nose and mouth visible. So with so many more people wearing masks nowadays, it became more of an issue. Fortunately, some folks now have a workaround for it.
Tencent Security Xuanwu Lab figured out a way to set your iPhone up with a new Face ID. It involves having your face partially blocked by the mask when going through FaceID’s enrollment. According to the lab, after unlocking the phone normally with their bare face, users should still be able to unlock it again with a face mask on.
9 to 5 Mac tried Xuanwu Lab’s suggested technique and it appeared to work for them with varying degrees of success. Here are the steps as they did them:
- Head to Settings > Face ID & Passcode
- You can either try to do the first step as an Alternate Appearance or choose to Reset Face ID
- Once you’ve picked Set up Face ID or Set Up Alternate Appearance, fold your mask in half and hold it up to your face
- If your iPhone says “Face Obstructed” move your mask slowly away from the center of your face until it asks you to “Move your head slowly to complete the circle” (Xuanwu Lab recommends covering just the tip of your nose; cover too much and you’ll get an error)
- Complete two scans of your face with the mask folded in the same orientation
- You should see “Face ID is now set up”
- Put your mask on, covering your whole face, test out if it works to unlock your iPhone
The above technique apparently didn’t work consistently for them. If that’s the case for you as well, 9 to 5 Mac also has optional directions (as well as accompanying photos) on their website.
Even with the optional directions, the technique appears to work with varying degrees of consistency. I’ve already read on more than once occasion where the user tried to set their iPhone up wearing a mask and it didn’t work, but the next day it did, without any other intervention. Still, it might be worth a try.
Tencent does warn that “…although we believe that this is a method that can be used temporarily during an outbreak, we cannot guarantee any situation that may arise after using this method.” in other words, try it at your own risk.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary