The iPhone is great, as long as you can unlock it. That might sound strange, but as anybody who's tried using Face ID to open their device whilst wearing a face mask will attest, the tech isn't exactly pandemic-proof. But a fix is finally on the way.
Currently in beta, iOS 15.4 lets users use Face ID whilst wearing a mask. Yep, you read that right – one of the best camera phones is now actually useable while wearing the most essential fashion accessory of the last 2 years. No more scrabbling around to enter your password at the supermarket self-checkout.
If you're part of Apple's public beta programme (opens in new tab), as long as you've updated to iOS 15.4, you can access the feature right now. All you have to do is open your iPhone's Settings app and tap the Face ID & Passcode option, then toggle on Use Face ID With a Mask. It's not clear when iOS 15.4 will be released to the masses, but a public beta suggests it's imminent.
Face ID frustration has been rife since face masks became mainstream in 2020. Many have been crying out for Touch ID to return – first launched with 2013's iPhone 5S, the fingerprint scanner was removed in favour of Face ID for 2017's iPhone X. But the company probably wasn't banking on us all wearing face coverings three years later, judging by the makeshift workarounds it's had to implement to make Face ID actually, you know, work.
Indeed, we've heard plenty of rumours that Apple is planning to bring back Touch ID, which wouldn't be a huge surprise after it resurrected the tech for the iPad Air 4 in 2020. But moving backwards isn't very Apple – we can imagine the company would much rather get Face ID right rather than replace it altogether. That said, we've seen a few backtracks from the company, most recently with that controversial iOS 15 Safari redesign.
Time will tell whether the new Face ID tech will arrive in time for this year's new iPhone. But don't forget, while we've already heard tons of exciting iPhone 14 rumours, the iPhone 13 is still an incredibly solid option. Check out today's best deals below, and be sure to visit our main Apple deals page for more great offers.