So it just occurred to me that my Mac thanks to its TouchID sensor makes unlocking a cinch even when masked — unlike my iPhone 12 mini. Considering Apple Watch can unlock an iPhone, any chance we might see that a Mac could unlock FaceID iPhones in the near future?
It would need some sort of authentication connection between the Mac and the iPhone, such as Apple sets up between the Apple Watch and the Mac and the Apple Watch and the iPhone. The trick there is the Apple Watch, once it’s authenticated, remains authenticated until it’s removed from your wrist. Neither the iPhone nor the Mac has that sort of persistent authentication right now.
But it wouldn’t have to persist. You use TouchID the moment you want to authenticate on your iPhone. If you want to unlock your iPhone 15 min later (and you can’t use FaceID), you have to authenticate via the Mac’s TouchID again.
I’m not enough of a security guy to say for sure, but it feels like there isn’t a tight enough connection between the Mac and the iPhone for this to be safe from interference. Perhaps that’s solvable through the devices sharing keys at setup, but I’d worry.