On iPhone 12 series that come with FaceID, you must either remove your mask or enter the passcode to unlock the iPhone.
However, with iOS 14.5, you can unlock your iPhone without removing the mask through your Apple watch.
The feature works on Apple Watch Series 3 and newer running watchOS 7.4 or later.
To unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch:
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Go to Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode.
- Here, you’ll see the name of your Apple Watch under “Unlock with Apple Watch.”
- Turn on the toggle to enable the feature.
Here’s how it works: Whenever you try unlocking your iPhone, it’ll check if you’re wearing a mask (or if the person trying to unlock it is wearing a mask). If yes, it’ll unlock automatically if your Apple Watch is unlocked and nearby.
This also means that any person wearing a mask can unlock your iPhone if you’re around with your watch unlocked.
However, you’ll get a haptic notification on your Apple Watch and can choose to re-lock the iPhone if you didn’t intend to unlock it.