by Chloe Chan
Is Face ID becoming more of a hassle rather than a convenience now that you have a face mask on? Problem solved. On Wednesday, Apple released an updated facial recognition software so that unlocking your phone will be much easier.
Before iOS 13.5, your eyes, nose, and mouth needed to be detectable for Apple’s facial recognition software, called Face ID, to unlock your phone. As face masks become strongly advised across the country, many iPhone owners find it extremely frustrating to unlock their phones while having a mask on.
19-year-old Stevie Johnson works at a Target in San Bernardino, CA, and has reported being “repeatedly frustrated by his facial unlock,” according to Rachel Lerman from Washington Post. For Target employees like Johnson, face masks are mandatory, which makes access to his phone a lot more difficult.
Johnson expresses, “It will say failed, then failed again, then finally give you an option to enter a code. It gets kind of annoying. I wish there was a faster way.” Fortunately for Johnson and all other Face ID users, Apple has taken the initiative to improve the Face ID software as the Coronavirus continues.
The new software can identify users who are wearing a face mask which allows them to transition into the passcode screen immediately. A staff writer from CNBC named Kif Leswing interprets the update as “a sign that Apple is aware that its Face ID software, which has been a key selling point for new iPhones since 2017, is significantly less useful when people are wearing masks.”
Apple’s new feature does not just work for unlocking people’s phones; it is also implemented to approve Apple Pay transactions. Jessica Guynn is a staff writer working at USA Today and has her thoughts on the revised Face ID. “As soon as you lift up your phone,” Guynn notes, “you can swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen right away.”
The latest iOS software update also came with a brand new API that “supports apps from public health authorities that notify users if they have come into contact with a person who has COVID-19,” according to CNN writer Kaya Yurieff. This feature could be extremely helpful in tracking and preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. This Bluetooth virus-monitoring software comes from the new partnership between Apple and Google.
The Coronavirus is impacting everything, which prompts Apple to adjust their software to accommodate the change. So far, Apple’s altered features are sufficiently aiding iPhone users, so who knows what new technology will come out of this pandemic? All we can do is wait and find out.
Photo credit: Daily News