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Thread: MacID: A Very Cool Way to Unlock Your Mac Using Your iOS Device's Touch ID Sensor

  1. #1
    Default MacID: A Very Cool Way to Unlock Your Mac Using Your iOS Device's Touch ID Sensor


    For those of you that have an iPhone 5s or later and are loving the Touch ID experience, you can probably relate to the notion that it's unfortunate Apple hasn't yet integrated a similar feature into its lineup of Mac computers so that you can just use your fingerprint to sign into your Mac instead of having to type in a complex password.

    Fortunately, app developers are smart and find clever ways around things. If you have an iOS device that supports Touch ID, then you should definitely check out a new application in the iOS App Store called MacID. The application was launched about a week ago and allows you to use the Touch ID sensor on your iOS device to unlock your Mac computer from its Lock Screen.

    The application accomplishes this by staying in touch with your Mac via a low-power Bluetooth connection. The application knows when you're near your Mac, and likewise, your Mac knows when you're near your computer. When you are, you can go into the MacID application on your iOS device and just select your computer and you'll be prompted to input your fingerprint for the process of unlocking your Mac:



    Notably, MacID also comes with play, pause, forward, and backward media controls, as well as a way to remotely put your Mac to sleep, a way to remotely wake your device, and a way to remotely unlock your device using Touch ID.

    Because using Touch ID to unlock your Mac isn't an Apple-native feature, MacID requires that you give the Mac OS X companion application your Mac's password so that the password can be put into the text field each time you try to unlock your Mac. When MacID confirms that your Touch ID fingerprint matches the one your iOS device is registered with, it will auto-insert the password that you enter:



    After being set up, you will see an icon in the Menu Bar on your Mac for MacID where you can configure its various options:



    Your options include:

    • Configuring idle auto-lock
    • Configuring proximity wake
    • Configuring Tap to Unlock
    • Sending copied text to the iOS clipboard
    • Changing your saved Mac OS X password
    • Unpairing or pairing an iOS device to be used with MacID
    • And More


    MacID changes the icon that appears next to the Mac OS X Lock Screen password input field to the MacID icon, so it's not without its beautiful aesthetic tweaks to make the application feel like a native feature. The iOS version of the application even comes with an iOS 8 Notification Widget for the Today tab of Notification Center so that you can access your Mac even quicker.

    Please note that because these applications use Bluetooth, you must have Bluetooth enabled on both your iOS device and your Mac for them to pair correctly. Because they use Bluetooth 4.0 (low energy), you won't notice much of a battery life drainage. Also, as you may be skeptical about such an application combination working well on your iOS device and Mac, we're here to assure you that the process seems to work very well on our own Mac and iOS device. Numerous positive App Store reviews also back up the theory that it works well, so let us know how it works for you in the comments!

    If you're interested in giving the MacID experience a try, you can download the iOS application from the iOS App Store at this link for $3.99. The Mac OS X companion application can be downloaded free of charge from the developer's Web page at this link.

    Sources: MacID

  2. #2
    This does sound cool but in practice sounds like it might take more time and energy than it saves. It takes me about 2-3 seconds right now and I can't imagine an iPhone app launch process that would take more than that. I'm also not real keen on any app having my admin password. The keys to the kingdom are an awful lot to put out there in order to have a cool way to unlock my computer. I'm glad it has some additional features which sound a bit more useful. Controlling music across the room when my computer is open and awake just isn't something I personally need though it may suit the needs of others quite nicely. Still hard to imagine how it would actually save time given that one much turn on and unlock an iPhone, find and launch an app, select their computer within the app, then find and select a command. This also needs to happen flawlessly each and every time it's done in order to be much more than a nuisance. Overall makes me think of the remotes apple used to include with laptops and those disappeared. Never found a need to use one myself so I didn't miss it.

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  4. #3
    What's Jailbreak? plaintom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by talkin73 View Post
    This does sound cool but in practice sounds like it might take more time and energy than it saves. It takes me about 2-3 seconds right now and I can't imagine an iPhone app launch process that would take more than that. I'm also not real keen on any app having my admin password. The keys to the kingdom are an awful lot to put out there in order to have a cool way to unlock my computer. I'm glad it has some additional features which sound a bit more useful. Controlling music across the room when my computer is open and awake just isn't something I personally need though it may suit the needs of others quite nicely. Still hard to imagine how it would actually save time given that one much turn on and unlock an iPhone, find and launch an app, select their computer within the app, then find and select a command. This also needs to happen flawlessly each and every time it's done in order to be much more than a nuisance. Overall makes me think of the remotes apple used to include with laptops and those disappeared. Never found a need to use one myself so I didn't miss it.
    This isn't exactly giving it the "keys to the kingdom" as you are using TouchID to unlock your Mac. (Basically you register your device with your computer - you don't give it your Admin password.) Think of it as using TouchID to unlock any app, like TapForms or Amazon, etc. I've been using a similar product, FingerKey (iOS) / FingerLock (Mac OSX), and it is kinda cool, but as you state, it's just as fast to unlock your computer by entering your password. I've found the simplest way of using the app is just using the widget from Notification center and selecting the computer to unlock (I have 2 registered). It is fast and simple. If you want to truly make your Admin password a very complex password, then I can see this being faster, if you are using a relatively simple password, then this is not faster. MacID is $3.99 in the App store, it might be worth a look at that price.

  5. #4
    MacID has problems logging in after boot up
    Last edited by ProfessorJack; 2015-03-19 at 07:25 PM.

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    Anthony Bouchard (2015-03-18)

  7. #5
    Default MacID
    Last edited by ProfessorJack; 2015-03-18 at 07:18 PM.

  8. #6
    after a reboot i found that this app did not work
    i was left with a manual password install
    may be there is something I'm doing wrong

  9. #7
    I've seen a lot of applications like this out there, and this one works the best out of all of them. It surprisingly hasn't once failed yet while I've been trying it, and I love the notification center integration.

    MacID was completely free when I downloaded it (which is why I decided to give it a try), but by the time I could finish my review, it started being offered at $3.99 in the App Store (unfortunately).

    It works better than competing applications, such as Tether, which I also gave a try and hardly worked.

    So if you're looking for a reliable Touch ID integration for your Mac, MacID is certainly the way to go.

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by plaintom View Post
    This isn't exactly giving it the "keys to the kingdom" as you are using TouchID to unlock your Mac. (Basically you register your device with your computer - you don't give it your Admin password.) Think of it as using TouchID to unlock any app, like TapForms or Amazon, etc. I've been using a similar product, FingerKey (iOS) / FingerLock (Mac OSX), and it is kinda cool, but as you state, it's just as fast to unlock your computer by entering your password. I've found the simplest way of using the app is just using the widget from Notification center and selecting the computer to unlock (I have 2 registered). It is fast and simple. If you want to truly make your Admin password a very complex password, then I can see this being faster, if you are using a relatively simple password, then this is not faster. MacID is $3.99 in the App store, it might be worth a look at that price.
    Ha! I had a related problem: I switched to the 'not-simple' passcode ('to be more secure') and then when my iphone power ran down and I had to reboot (or the time when iOS crashed, and I had to reboot) and I hadn't memorized my new 'not-simple' 15-char passcode... how do I unlock my iPhone so I can use the Touch ID sensor to unlock my Mac to open 1Password to get my 'not-simple' passcode to type into my iPhone so I can unlock it to use the MacID app and ... well, you see where this is going...

  11. #9
    An updated version of the Mac App is now available online.

    MacID - Unlock your Mac with just your fingerprint.

  12. #10
    Code Dependent NewD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
    An updated version of the Mac App is now available online.

    MacID - Unlock your Mac with just your fingerprint.
    This does NOT require Apple Passcode Lock to be on?

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
    This does NOT require Apple Passcode Lock to be on?
    It requires touch id.

  14. #12
    Code Dependent NewD's Avatar
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    So passcode lock has to be on? That's what I'm trying to get at, Anthony..

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