Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Masks and Face ID

John Gruber:

It’s nonsense to argue about the fact that wearing a mask — even a homemade one — is less than 100 percent effective. Nothing is 100 percent effective, and all evidence suggests that masks are, at the very least, quite effective.

Maciej Ceglowski (tweet):

I want to persuade you not just to wear a mask, but to go beyond the new CDC guidelines and help make mask wearing a social norm. That means always wearing a mask when you go out in public, and becoming a pest and nuisance to the people in your life until they do the same.


Masks are in short supply, but you can MacGuyver one out of practically anything, including paper towels, cotton, vaccum cleaner bags. Expect the number of online tutorials to proliferate. Here are some I am partial to[…]

Tim Cook:

Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers.

Unfortunately, modern iPhones don’t work well with masks. If you’re wearing a mask, Face ID won’t let you unlock your phone. Setting up an alternate appearance wearing a mask doesn’t work because it will complain that something is obstructing your face.

You can set up the alternate appearance up while wearing half a mask, and I was eventually able to get this to work and complete the full scan. It would then let me unlock the phone while wearing the full mask, although it would often take multiple tries. I’m not sure whether this totally ruined the security so that it would have unlocked for anyone wearing a mask. Anyway, it’s moot because by the next day the iPhone was no longer recognizing me with the mask at all, and I was unable to even set it up with the half mask again.

So, what to do:


Update (2020-04-24): Felix Krause:

I’m really surprised Apple didn’t yet ship an iOS update properly supporting face masks.

I see people trying to unlock their phones in grocery stores, and you can guess what they do next when they notice their phone doesn’t unlock.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

> It helps to set a short numeric passcode, but this is not ideal because there is a delay where it waits for Face ID to fail before it lets you start entering the passcode.

As a compromise, you can tap the "Face ID" text when you attempt to unlock your iPhone to access the passcode entry screen without waiting for Face ID to fail.

One more reason not to get a phone without a home button.

You can get a refurbished Iphone SE for about $100. Once you have a spare, send in the old one to have its battery replaced.

@Jordan It’s usually faster for me to wait for it to fail rather than tap that button. My point is just that using a passcode on a Face ID phone is much slower than before there was Face ID, because it’s always treated as a secondary method.

TouchID FTW! I hope the rumors about the iPhone 9 are true. I am all over that if that's the case. I skipped my normal every other year upgrade cycle this year due to the iPhone X/XR/11 design and price.

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