Apple Users Can Now 'Knock' on iPhone to Unlock Mac


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If you are an Apple ( AAPL ) devotee with both a Mac and an iPhone, there is a cool new way to use both in tandem. Knock, a new app, allows you to unlock your Mac with just two taps on your iPhone.

It's pretty simple, but it seems just magical in the promo video. And it isn't just a parlor trick. Compared to the tired old process of typing passwords, its actually more secure. Knock uses Bluetooth Low Energy to detect your Mac so the battery doesn't drain completely, and only works when you yourself are around. Paired with a fingerprint-scanning iPhone 5S, you have a pretty foolproof security setup.

There's only one catch right now: The app might be a bit buggy. Benjamin Mayo of 9to5 Mac says that in practice, Knock failed a few times and had to be restarted, which is a bit of a buzzkill.

Knock is a good example of how the tech world is separating into tribes; the benefits of sticking to one company's products and services is beginning to outweigh omnivorism. The past few updates to iOS and OS X have woven the mobile and desktop experience together. For those who use it, you can have your to-dos, email, iMessages, iBooks, Maps (for the masochistic) and social accounts integrate seamlessly. Apple makes it better to be a stalwart customer than fair-weather friend. Microsoft ( MSFT ) is hoping to pull off the same platform trick across desktops, phones, tablets, and even the Xbox console devices as well. Both are hoping that their Web services will keep customers locked in and loyal.

I have a Mac, but my Android phone and the fact that I've used Gmail and other Google ( GOOG ) services for a decade keeps me pretty much locked into Google's ecosystem and also precludes me from using this $3.99 app. I recently considered getting an iPad Mini or Amazon ( AMZN ) Kindle for reading, but decided against it partly because I know that I will end up using Google's apps instead of Apple's anyway.

For the developers of Knock, it was smart to target the two- to three-screen Apple fans.

More from Minyanville:

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What Apple's 2013 Shopping Spree Tells Us

Twitter: @vincent_trivett

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Technology
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