MacID for iOS: Unlock your Mac without a password

Passwords: absolutely dreadful things. You want them to be complex and long enough to make it seriously difficult for anyone who gets hold of your toys from guessing them, but you’d also like to be able to remember them, and type them correctly the first time.

Newer iPhone models get around this with the Touch ID thingy, where using a fingerprint will unlock your phone (I like this, works well for me). But what about actual computers, eh? Well, some Windows PCs come with fingerprint readers – my work Dell has one, but I found the software to be intrusive, awkward and annoying. And I don’t mean Windows in this particular instance. But so far, Apple haven’t incorporated this into Macs. But there’s now a nicely cheap iPhone app that seems to do the job.

MacID for iOS by Kane Cheshire costs £2.99 or $3.99 (prices in other countries no doubt vary). Install it on your iPhone and download the free companion app to your Mac. The two talk to each other over Bluetooth. All you have to do is authorise the phone to unlock the Mac – you have to enter your password into the Mac app, where it’s stored in encrypted form, and not transmitted to the iPhone or anywhere else. The app hooks into the login screen so that when you’d normally enter your password (which you can still do if you’re so inclined), your iPhone will pop up a message stating that the Mac wants to be unlocked. Tap on the alert then press your registered finger on the button and your Mac will unlock.

I’ve got this working on my iMac and MacBook Air, and so far I’ve had no trouble at all. And I just noticed that you can also use the iOS app to lock your Mac.

Nice, and well worth a try – check out the developer’s site for more details: