With macOS Sierra, Apple released new continuity feature – Auto Unlock. Basically, if you own Apple Watch and you are near your Mac, it will automatically log in to your Mac. Unfortunately, iPhones, iPads and iPods touch are not supported. But I found great app – MacID (my thanks to Federico Viticci from Macstories.net). Now you can unlock your Mac by your fingerprint on Touch ID. But that’s not all!
First, you will need app itself. Both versions for macOS and iOS are required, as they work together. Links are at the end of this article.
Next, check your iDevice’s and Mac’s compatibility. Here is list of supported iDevices:
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 4S
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad 4th generation
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPad mini
- iPod touch 6th generation
- iPod touch 5th generation
And supported Macs:
- MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
- Retina MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
- MacBook Air (2011 or later)
- Mac mini (2011 or later)
- iMac (2012 or later)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)
Basically, MacID requires an iDevice with Bluetooth LE running iOS 8 or later. As for Macs, you need a Mac with built-in Bluetooth LE running OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later. For full functionality, you also need Touch ID on your iDevice (iPhone 5S or later, all iPads Pro, iPad Air 2 or later, iPad mini 3 or later). If you own iOS device without Touch ID, unlocking of your Mac is done via passcode.
OK, now you need to pair your iDevice and Mac. You will need to allow access for Bluetooth and optionally permission to send you notifications.
After pairing, look at menubar. It looks like this:
And your iOS app after pairing looks like this:
Now tap your account name in MacID for iOS. It will lock your Mac. It won’t shut down Mac or log out from your account. For example, music, if played on Mac, will continue playing. Now go to MacID for iOS and tap your account name on screen. It will ask to put your finger on Touch ID. After this, you are logged in. Awesome!
But that’s not all. As you see on iPad’s screenshot, I’m listening to Beats 1 (part of Apple Music). You can stop or skip songs played in your iTunes on Mac.
Next, you can set sound for some Mac events. Unfortunately, only 4 tones are able to choose from. Events are:
- Unlock requests
- Elevated privilege requests
- Auto-lock notifications
Also, you can lock/unlock your Mac automatically when your iDevice is too far/too near from your Mac.
MacID offers widget for your with option to autohide it while no Macs are connected.
MacID works on Apple Watch and Pebble too.
Some hints: on macOS, you can lock your Mac from MacID in menubar. Also, you can lock your Mac with iDevice in MacID app. If you close MacID for iOS after locking Mac and then turn on MacID for iOS again, it won’t work. MacID for iOS must be in app switcher (aka not closed). This is limitation by Apple and it’s rules for App Store.
You can download reviewed app(s) here:
And it’s Mac counterpart:
Update 1st – 28. April 2016: MacID was replaced with Unlox. MacID is still available in App Store. To get Unlox work, you will also need to download Unlox for Mac. Unlox for iOS requires iOS 11.2 and later (earlier versions of iOS 11 are not supported cause of bugs in Apple’s Bluetooth API) and Macs must run macOS High Sierra and later. Unlox for iOS and Mac can be downloaded here:
And it’s Mac counterpart: