This is one of those items that could easily be filed under the category of ‘Interesting But Not Really That Useful.’ It’s an iPhone app which lets you use your iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor to unlock your Mac.
You’ll need MacID for iOS, a Mac that supports Bluetooth LE, OS X Yosemite (most newer Macs), and an iPhone with Touch ID (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus (haven’t tried it out yet with iPad Air 2 which also has Touch ID).
There’s more to meet the eye with MacID for iOS than you think. As you get near your Mac, MacID knows you are nearby so when you sit down to unlock your Mac, just press Touch ID on the iPhone and the Mac unlocks automatically.
Here’s the basic list:
- MacID works with multiple Macs at once.
- Unlock your Mac using Touch ID or your device passcode.
- Interactive notifications – you don’t even have to unlock your iOS device.
- Control your Mac’s audio; works with iTunes & Spotify!
- Manually lock your Mac remotely.
- Auto-lock when you’re away from your Mac.
- Proximity waking when returning to your Mac.
- Notification Center widget; unlock your Mac from anywhere on your iOS device.
- Share clipboard text between your Mac and iOS device.
- Choose between MacID’s standard colours or a more high-contrast UI.
- Full iPad support with split-screen display.
- Authorize with Touch ID for tasks like moving protected files to the Trash on your Mac.
You read correctly. MacID lets you control iTunes on your Mac from your iPhone, and auto locks your Mac when you walk away (carrying your iPhone, obviously).
To clarify, MacID for iOS unlocks your Mac using Bluetooth and proximity sensing, plus Touch ID on the iPhone, but you’ll also need the MacID for OS X companion app. The latter is free, but the iOS version is $3.99 (though it may be free on the iTunes App Store for a day).
Does Touch ID provide more security and less hassle to unlock a Mac than simply using a password entered from the keyboard. Not much, if at all. There’s less effort using Touch ID but you still need your iPhone nearby, so this may be more of a solution looking for a problem.