If you are an
) 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
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.
) 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
I have a Mac, but my Android phone and the fact that I've used
Gmail and other
) 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
) 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.
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