iOS 15.4 Beta Allows Face ID Unlock with Mask; iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 Bring Universal Control

Deepak Gupta January 28, 2022
Updated 2022/01/28 at 7:06 AM

Apple has brought the first developer beta versions of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS Monterey 12.3. One of the biggest changes that the latest iOS 15.4 beta brings is the ability to unlock your iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mask. The beta versions of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, on the other hand, include delayed Universal Control to improve the experience for users who own iPad and Mac devices.

With the ability to unlock an iPhone using Face ID with a mask, Apple has updated its proprietary facial recognition technology. It is among the most requested features as people have been wearing face masks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Apple has tried to solve the problem of not recognizing people through Face ID while they were also wearing a mask in the past. In 2020, it enabled a faster way to unlock using passwords when using masks on devices that support Face ID. The company also last year provided the ability to unlock Face ID-equipped iPhone models using an Apple Watch while wearing masks. Both updates, however, did not attract users much.

The new beta version of iOS 15.4 shows that the Cupertino giant is finally fulfilling users’ requests to allow them to unlock their iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mask.

Apple has trained new algorithms to recognize users based on the eye region when wearing a mask. This allows users to unlock their iPhone using Face ID – without taking off their mask or using alternatives like passcodes or the Apple Watch.

Users have the option to configure Face ID with a mask when they boot up their iPhone running iOS 15.4 for the first time. Alternatively, the feature can be enabled after booting with iOS 15.4 by enabling the option called ‘Use Face ID with a mask’ available at settings > Face ID and password.

You do not need to wear a face mask during setup. This means that the experience of signing up for Face ID with a mask is similar to how you normally sign up for face recognition technology.

Apple also designed the feature to work with glasses. However, we recommend that you register separately for your glasses when setting up Face ID with a mask. You can wear up to four pairs of glasses with each registered performance.

It’s important to note that while Face ID is available on iPhone X and later models, the ability to use Face ID with a mask is limited to the iPhone 12 and newer versions of the iPhone. It is also not available for iPad users at this time.

Apple claims that the accuracy and security of masked Face ID is in line with existing facial recognition support. This means that the probability that a random person in the population will be able to look at your iPhone and unlock it using Face ID with a mask is approximately one in 1,000,000 with a single registered appearance.

In addition to the Face ID update, the first beta version of iOS 15.4 for developers brings the ability to copy text from objects using the camera in the Notes and Reminders apps. There are also new emojis like heart hands, biting lip, pregnant and pregnant man, hamsa and several others.

Along with the beta for iPhone users, Apple brought the first developer beta of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 with Universal Control. This feature was announced at WWDC last year and was expected to be a part of macOS Monterey at the time of its first release in October. Apple, however, delayed the launch by a few months.

Apple Universal Control image Apple Universal Control

Apple introduced Universal Control on macOS Monterey at the time of its announcement last year
photo credit: Apple

With Universal Control, a single keyboard and mouse or trackpad can work seamlessly between Mac and iPad. You can also connect to more than one Mac or iPad at the same time and move your cursor between them or type your words on your Mac or iPad. Furthermore, the feature allows users to drag and drop content from one Mac to another.

Universal Control uses Apple’s Continuity to establish a connection between Mac and iPad. You, however, need both devices to use a Signal Apple ID. The devices you want to use Universal Control on must also be within a few feet of each other and have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff turned on.

This isn’t the first time Apple is enabling a connection between Mac and iPad devices. The company has also done this in the past, bringing in Sidecar as a feature to let users use their iPad as a secondary display or input device. However, Universal Control goes one step further and allows users to control their Mac and iPad using a single keyboard, mouse or trackpad.

Apple has not provided an exact timeline for when the features will be available through public releases. In the meantime, you can try them on a secondary device. sign up for public beta versions of the new software through the Apple Beta Program.


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