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This will definitely be the most useful new iPhone trick you learn this year

Published Jun 15th, 2021 9:08AM EDT

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As many people quickly started to realize in March of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic turned a slick and reliable feature like Face ID into something of a usability nightmare. With almost everyone wearing masks over the last 15 months, iPhone unlocking via Face ID became impossible and iPhone users were forced to enter in their passcode in order to access their devices. It’s a first-world problem, to be sure, but the good news is that the worst of the pandemic is seemingly behind us, which is to say that we can finally go back to using Face ID as intended.

Still, with the pandemic subsiding just as summer is about to kick into high gear, some iPhone users may soon experience some unlocking frustration due to another face accessory — sunglasses.

If you’re noticing that Face ID isn’t working when you’re wearing sunglasses, there’s a setting you can switch off to remove the roadblock. The root of the issue is that Face ID has a setting called “Require Attention for Face ID.” When switched on, Apple notes that the “TrueDepth camera will provide an additional level of security by verifying that you are looking” at your iPhone before unlocking. Consequently, some sunglasses — especially ones with a dark tint — can prevent Face ID from working.

To access the setting, all you have to do is go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, whereupon you’ll be able to switch the “Require Attention for Face ID” setting on or off. The setting, it’s worth noting, is typically turned off by default so this may not be something most users will have to address in the first place. But if you happened to turn the setting on while setting up your iPhone in the interest of adding an extra layer of security to your iPhone, turning the switch off might be an idea if you’re prone to wearing sunglasses with regularity during the summer months.

And while we’re on the topic, rumor has it that Face ID on the iPhone 13 — which will likely arrive in September of this year — will be more reliable and capable of working at even more extreme angles. Incidentally, smaller Face ID components are partially behind the reason why the infamous notch will reportedly be significantly smaller on Apple’s next-gen iPhone 13 models.

As we highlighted back in April, this dummy iPhone model in white shows the extent to which the notch will be smaller when compared to the iPhone 12.

As for specific measurements, rumor has it that the new notch will be only 26.8mm wide, compared to 34.83mm on the iPhone 12. That said, the notch on the iPhone 13 may be a bit taller and will reportedly measure in at 5.35mm compared to 5.3mm on the current iPhone 12 lineup.

A rundown of all the iPhone 13 features we can expect to see can be viewed over here.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.