At the beginning of April, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention recommended that all people wear a face mask or covering anytime they leave the house in order to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. And while wearing protective face gear along with practicing safe social distancing can be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus, there are plenty of inconveniences that come along with everyone's new accessory, including making breathing, recognizing people, working out, and being heard correctly a little bit more difficult.
Another issue? Logging into your phone. In devices with iOS 13 software, Face ID won't recognize your face to log in if you're wearing a face mask. It can even take up to several attempts at your device attempting to recognize your face before it allows you to put your passcode in. While this seems like a minor inconvenience, people who may need to get into their phone quickly may resort to lifting their face masks up to get recognized. This almost defeats the purpose of the mask and could lead to exposure to COVID-19. This is why the company is rolling out an update in iOS 13.5 that'll amend this and much more.
In Apple's newest update, users will be directed to a screen where they can manually enter their passcode whenever Face ID fails to recognize them, according to Business Insider. Whereas iOS 13 would make a few attempts at recognizing a face, iOS 13.5 will allow users to enter their passcode the first time their face is not recognized With this update, you'll be able to swipe up on your lock screen and type in your passcode without having to wait for your Face ID authorization to fail multiple times. The feature will not only work for signing into a phone, but also for utilizing any apps or features that require Face ID, such as Apple Pay.
This is part of a larger contact tracing system Apple and Google are collaborating on to help alert people who may have come in contact with coronavirus patients.
If the coronavirus pandemic has you stuck indoors relying on FaceTime and other video calling apps to stay connected with friends, Apple has got you covered for that, too. Though it's a minor detail, the company is releasing a feature in iOS 13.5 that allows users to control the changing sizes of tiles in Group FaceTime calls.
The release date for the iOS 13.5 update has yet to be announced.
While people adjust to the new norms of living during the coronavirus pandemic, it makes sense that companies like Apple are creating ways that make it easier for people to enjoy their products while still remaining safe. Though Face ID is a helpful feature, it shouldn't be the reason someone ever feels compelled to take their face mask off in public.