New app lets users unlock their Mac by knocking on their iPhone

Tired of typing your password every time you want to unlock your Mac computer?

A new app for the iPhone called Knock allows users to tap twice on their smartphone to unlock their password-protected Mac computer.

Knock was released this week, and because I really don’t like typing out passwords, I decided to check it out.

The app is available for the iPhone for $3.99. Knock also requires that users install an app for their computer, which is free and available for download on its website.


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After downloading both parts of the product, I was able to quickly go through the setup, which required little more than turning on Bluetooth on both my computer and my iPhone. I also had to type in my computer’s password. The whole process took about a minute.

Once set up, an icon for Knock shows up on the top right of your Mac’s menu bar. You must click on that followed by “Lock Mac” to lock your computer -- simply logging out of your account on your Mac will not enable Knock. The app will also turn on whenever you close your MacBook laptop or your computer goes to sleep.

When you try to unlock your computer, you’ll receive a notification on your iPhone letting you know the device is ready to be knocked on, so to speak. Gently tap on the iPhone with your knuckles twice and the Mac will unlock.


And you don’t actually have to knock. You can also softly tap the phone twice with any part of your body or object on any part of the device -- the key is giving your device two quick vibrations to unlock your computer. 

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Knock works by using low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which means users can run the app on their iPhone and Mac all day and it won’t drain their battery, the company says. The Bluetooth connection is protected with a military-grade encryption, according to the company.

You can only unlock the Mac that has been set up with the app on your iPhone. You can’t use someone else’s iPhone to unlock the computer.

Knock works with the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s. However, it can’t work with every kind of Apple computer. Knock’s website says the app is compatible with MacBook Air laptops from 2011 and newer, MacBook Pro laptops from 2012 and newer, iMac desktops from 2012 and newer, Mac mini desktops from 2011 and newer, and the 2013 Mac Pro.

All in all, Knock is worthwhile for those who care about security but hate the tedious chore of typing in a passcode. 



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