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iOS 15, Face ID, sunglasses, and Apple Watch

Posted in Apple

I’ve written about Face ID a few times over the years, and one post in particular covers a downside that it doesn’t recognise me with sunglasses on. Well, that “doesn’t” can change to the past tense, because iOS 15 has fixed it!

Rewind to early this year; we’d all been wearing masks for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlocking our phones while, say, at the local shop was a problem as we had to lower our face covering in order to be recognised by Face ID. Or we’d have to wait for Face ID to give up trying to recognise us and offer our password input.

This meant potentially helping the spread of the virus, typing a complex code a lot, or reducing the security of your device with a simpler passcode.

iOS 14.5 introduced a really convenient feature where, if you’re wearing a mask and an unlocked Apple Watch, Face ID recognises the face covering and authenticates using the watch instead.

The same thing that applies to face coverings now applies to sunglasses! If your phone recognise you because of your sunglasses, it quickly falls back to your Apple Watch for authentication.

Of course, it’s going to set you back the price of an Apple Watch if you don’t already have one, but it’s a great companion device for your iPhone on so many levels, and this is another great reason to fork out.

Just as I no longer have to lower my mask to unlock my phone, now there’s no more lifting of my sunglasses, making Face ID truly seamless.

Even better, I can now set my passcode to something truly secure, rather than the easy-to-type-with-one-hand 6 number code I currently use.

It’s just a shame it has come at that time of the year when, here in the UK, the days get ever shorter and the skies are more grey than blue, but I’ll take it!


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