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Apple’s flagship iPhones have dispensed with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of Face ID, requiring users wearing masks to put in a passcode every time they want to unlock their phone. (Picture: Felix Wong/SCMP)

Apple will let mask wearers skip Face ID

Apple’s facial recognition can be trained to recognize you with a mask on, but the company would prefer you unlock your iPhone with a passcode

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
In March, Abacus managed to unlock an iPhone XR while wearing a mask by following a tutorial from Tencent. But Apple, apparently having heard about the frustrations of iPhone users trying to unlock their phones during the pandemic, released a new beta update for the iOS 13.5 that makes our work seem a little futile.

With the new update, iPhone’s Face ID can detect that a user is wearing a mask and automatically switch to passcode input to unlock the phone. Since the method we used effectively hacks Face ID, making it less secure, some users may take comfort in Apple's solution.

The tutorial from Tencent Security Xuanwu Lab uses a method of setting up Face ID while a user’s face is half covered by a face mask. It works by folding a mask in half and using it to cover the left or right side of your face while following Face ID’s enrollment instructions. The trick took multiple tries for us to get it to work. Tencent also mentioned that this could compromise the security of your iPhone, noting people should follow the tutorial with discretion.