One of the most beloved features in the iPhone is Touch ID, the built-in fingerprint sensor. Set it up on a couple of fingers (I use index and thumb) and unlocking your iPhone as well as specific apps is a easy peasy as it can get.
What about the Mac? So far, Apple thinks the Mac must be secure enough already as there’s no hint that Touch ID will show up in future models, but if you’re an iPhone, iPad, or Watch owner, you can use Touch ID to unlock your Mac with the app MacID.
The way MacID works is exactly the way you would think Apple would make it work. Set it up by pairing your iPhone or iPad (needs to be a recent model with Touch ID) to your Mac. Then, when you step away from the Mac it locks (just as your iPhone locks and needs password or Touch ID to open it again). When you walk back to your Mac just use Touch ID to unlock the Mac.
MacID for iPhone has a Watch app so you won’t even need to open your iPhone to unlock your Mac. Just use press the MacID button on the Watch screen and the Mac unlocks. Wait. There’s more. One of the coolest features is the built-in Proximity Wake which unlocks your Mac just by having your iPhone near the Mac.
That means you can tap to unlock– either iPhone or Watch– or let Proximity Wake do the work for you. What’s the benefit? Ease of use and greater security. Instead of using a simple and easy-to-remember password to unlock your Mac, use a longer, more complicated, more secure password but let MacID remember it. Just use Touch ID to unlock the Mac.
Your Mac automatically gets locked when you walk away from it (think of it as Proximity Sleep) and you can choose to automatically unlock the Mac when you’re back, or just use a tap to Touch ID to unlock the Mac.
MacID for Mac is free. Of course you’ll need MacID for your Touch ID-enabled iPhone or iPad and that is priced at far less than lunch or Starbucks. Just like Touch ID itself, MacID brings the same convenience and extra security to your Mac.
I ran into a bug in OS X regarding the screensaver activation which is easily overcome by changing a setting in System Preferences to ‘Immediately’ and all works as expected.
Rumors have been swirling around that Apple may introduce their own version of Touch ID to unlock the Mac, though it’s unlikely to have the lengthy feature set and granular controls available in MacID. To me, MacID for Mac and iPhone is exactly the kind of enhanced security and easier convenience you expect of an Apple product. It’s highly recommended by the O’Briens and it gets nearly 700 four and five star reviews on the iTunes App Store.