Dear Apple,

I love you, but right now you are creating havoc for healthcare workers.  We are unable to use Face ID with masks on.  This gives us two options – type in our passcode or take our mask off.  These are obviously problematic options.  Consider the increased contamination of phones if we need to type in our passcode every time, even if hand hygiene is meticulous.  Even worse, what percent of healthcare workers, sick patients who show up at clinics and hospital emergency departments, and people that are trying to isolate themselves at home are removing their mask every time they want to unlock their iPhone?  Most healthcare organizations require that they manage devices, and that means that I need to unlock my phone EVERY time I need to check a patient’s lab result, look up COVID-19 clinical resources, check hospital-related secure communications, or just check a text message.

Please make Face ID work when your users have masks on.  This may seem petty and ridiculous, but I think updating Face ID to work with users when they have masks on is a big deal.  I get it, how can Face ID work if apple cannot see the unique features of our mouth and nose?  We still have unique features above the mask, and I think that even if apple released a feature in Face ID which allowed users to unlock with masks, but which came with a caveat that this may decrease security, that would be preferred.  Even if users have to opt-in to that risk, that would be better than the situation right now.  You can even disable this feature after the COVID crisis decreases.

Apple – please help us decrease transmission and keep healthcare workers sane during this crisis.