How to use Face ID on the iPhone XSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone 13 handsets are not working correctly when users try to use Face ID while wearing some CPAP masks.
  • Reports suggest the iPhone 13 devices believe they don't have a clear enough view of the face for Face ID to work.
  • The same masks work fine with older devices, including iPhone X.

Apple's new iPhone 13 is already causing a stir, but not necessarily for the right reasons. The best iPhone ever is causing headlines once more, this time because it's actually the worst iPhone for people who have to wear a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask.

CPAP masks are worn by people with respiratory issues and while some wear the masks overnight, others have to wear them almost constantly. Now, it appears some masks are causing issues with Face ID — but only on iPhone 13 handsets.

According to a 9to5Mac report, Colin Hughes is someone who suffers from muscular dystrophy and needs his CPAP mask to breathe. Unfortunately, new iPhones don't seem to allow Face ID to function with a mask in place while, oddly, older iPhones work just fine.

Apple has clearly been tinkering with Face ID in light of Covid masks but it's come at great cost to accessibility for people like me.

In trying to set up a new face on the iPhone 13 Pro it says "Face obscured try removing anything that maybe covering your face". If I do that I will suffocate! I don't have a plan B.

To get around the issue, for now at least, Hughes is resorting to using an old iPHone X instead of the iPhone 13 Pro he just picked up, all because of Face ID.

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It isn't immediately clear whether the issue is software-related, or if it's somehow a byproduct of Apple's rejigging of its Face ID system for the new iPhones. Whatever the reason, Hughes is left unable to use Face ID on a device he just bought. Let's hope Apple can fix things with a software update soon.

This isn't the first iPhone 13 issue to crop up, either. Apple has already confirmed an issue that prevents Apple Watches from unlocking iPhone 13 handsets, another feature that is tangentially related to Face ID. Apple has confirmed a fix for that issue will arrive in a future update.