iOS 15.4 beta 3 warns people Face ID will need their attention when wearing masks

Ios 154 Face Id Mask Attention
Ios 154 Face Id Mask Attention (Image credit: Zollotech)

What you need to know

  • Apple has released iOS 15.4 beta 3 to developers.
  • A new message notes that using Face ID while wearing a mask will require a user's attention.
  • Face ID with a mask will require attention even if the normal Face ID attention setting is disabled.

When iOS 15.4 ships people will be able to use Face ID while wearing a mask, but Apple is now warning people that the feature will require their attention even if they have that disabled normally.

Users of Face ID have always been able to disable the "Require attention" feature of Face ID, allowing the biometric security mechanism to unlock their iPhones without them needing to look at it. But with iOS 15.4 beta 3, Apple is now warning people that attention will be required when wearing a mask, regardless of what settings they have.

The new message was first spotted by YouTuber Zollotech — the video below is already at the require timestamp:

The message reads:

Requiring Attention Makes Face ID More Secure

If you turn this off, Face ID will unlock your iPhone even if your eyes are not clearly open and looking at the screen. Face ID will always require attention when you're wearing a mask.

Apple continues to tweak how Face ID works when someone is wearing a mask and has already made clear that it requires clear sight of a user's eyes in order to work. This new message further drives that point home. Regardless, being able to use Face ID while wearing a mask could well be the best iPhone feature we get this year — iOS 16 included!

Apple is likely to make iOS 15.4 available to everyone this spring, although no official timeframe has been given. The new iOS 15.4 beta 3 was only made available to developers recently and there are likely to be more beta updates before the release is ready for primetime.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.