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iOS 14.5 will make it easier to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask

That is, if you're also wearing an Apple Watch.

Dinendra Haria/Getty Images

Apple's next mobile software update should make it a little easier to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask -- if you've also got an Apple Watch. The iOS 14.5 developer beta released on Monday includes a feature that lets people with an Apple Watch use Face ID to unlock their iPhone even when wearing a mask that covers both their nose and mouth. Health officials around the world have asked people to wear face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Apple Watch owners will be able to opt into the new iPhone unlock feature. When your Watch is on and unlocked, you'll be able to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone even while wearing a mask. The Watch will provide haptic feedback letting you know your iPhone has been unlocked. 

The feature will be available more widely when Apple releases its next iOS update to the public. The company released iOS 14.4 last week. 

In addition to letting you unlock an iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask, iOS 14.5 developer beta includes privacy changes that will require apps to ask for user permission before tracking data and activity. It also features updates to Siri and adds iOS and iPadOS support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers.