OS X 10.12 may let you unlock a Mac using Touch ID on an iPhone

Roman Loyola
24 May, 2016
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Touch ID on an iPhone 5s.

Touch ID on the iPhone and iPad is such a handy and convenient security feature that would be a welcome addition to the Mac. But how would you implement it? Add a Touch ID hardware sensor to the keyboard? Seems like an odd fit for Apple design-wise.

According to MacRumors, Apple may have found a way: by allowing Touch ID on an iPhone to unlock a Mac. The iPhone would use Bluetooth LE to connect to a Mac, and using Touch ID would work in place of entering a password. (An app called Knock already does something similar, letting you unlock your Mac with your iPhone or even your Apple Watch.) MacRumors also says that the Touch ID implementation would also work with the rumoured Apple Pay for web browsers, where you can use Apple Pay for online purchases.

MacRumors speculates that the unlock feature could work between an Apple Watch and a Mac too, with no iPhone required.

Why this matters: Security is an important part of using our digital devices, but even if it takes only a few seconds to enter a password, it can feel like a chore. Touch ID is a much more convenient way to be more secure, and it’s practically seamless for functions like unlocking a device to gain access. MacRumors does say that this implementation of Touch ID is a work in progress and it’s possible that it won’t be ready for the next major revision of OS X, version 10.12.

2 Comments

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  1. Larry Hermann says:

    I’ve been using MacID for the past year or so on an iMac with touch ID from iPhone which does exact same thing and very reliably too:

    https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/macid/id948478740?mt=8

  2. Larry Hermann says:

    I’ve been using MacID:

    https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/macid/id948478740?mt=8

    for past year or two with iPhone and iMac and does exactly this: touch ID unlock / lock of iMac.

    Works extremely well

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