November 5th, 2013

Knock, knock! Who’s there? Your Mac password via your iPhone


Knock, knock! Who’s there? Your Mac password via your iPhone

In a world of ever increasing password complexity and growing concern over privacy, managing highly secure passwords can be both a necessity and hassle. Which is why using additional devices or two-factor authentication are growing in popularity. And a Portland company just hit upon a unique way to unlock your Mac. With your iPhone. Introducing Knock.

The tool—which appeared on stage at a recent Demolicious and won—was designed by Portland-based William Henderson and Bay-Area-based Jon Schlossberg. William had previously worked at Square where he developed Square Wallet.

So what’s Knock do? Well, remember Bump? Where you could bump two phones together and they would trade contact info? Well, similar concept—as you’ll see below—but this time it’s your phone talking to your machine. To unlock it from a password protected state.

According to 9to5Mac, the experience is “surreal”:

It’s a surreal experience. After a couple of minutes of initial setup, you lock your Mac and rap the back of your paired iPhone twice. Your Mac unlocks. The app doesn’t even have to be forefront on your phone, although it does have to be ‘open’ in the multitasking tray. In fact, your phone doesn’t even have to be unlocked. When it senses the Mac is near, a notification appears on the lock screen instructing you to knock. There are some nice UI touches too. For instance, echoes of the ‘sound wave’ appear on OS X’s lock screen in real time as you knock. It’s a subtle visual indicator that the system is actually working.

Knock is currently available in the App Store for $3.99. It works in conjunction with most Macs, like 2011 and on Airs and Minis and 2012 and on MacBook Pros and iMacs.

For more information, visit Knock.

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