The old adage “the road less traveled is often less traveled for a reason” applies to software, too. Just because something can be done in software, doesn’t mean it needs to be done. Here’s one of those clever little Mac apps that does one thing, does it well, but not in a way you expect or want.
The app is called Knock, and I don’t want to knock it because it works and does exactly what it claims and what the name of the app implies. Log into your Mac with your iPhone by knocking twice on the iPhone.
Yes. That’s right.
Knock twice, or tap twice on the iPhone, even if it’s in your pocket, and your Mac will unlock. There’s no need to hit the Mac’s keyboard, stop the screensaver, or log in. Knock unlocks when knocked.
Sounds cool enough, right? It is but there are caveats.
Knock is really two apps. One for the Mac and one for the iPhone. The apps use Bluetooth Low Energy to connect (less battery drain) which means it only works on the iPhone 4s and newer, and only on select Macs back to about 2011.
When you and your iPhone get near the locked Mac, Knock for Mac detects your iPhone through Knock for iPhone using Bluetooth, turns on a pulsing green ring around the app’s icon, and that’s your signal to, well, knock. When you knock twice on the iPhone (a solid tap works), Knock unlocks your Mac by entering the password.
Do you need to knock? Yes. Otherwise, anyone with your iPhone also has access to your Mac, so the extra level of security is a plus. An odd plus, but a plus nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Knock doesn’t let you unlock multiple Macs, so it’s only paired with one iPhone and one Mac. And, you can’t use Knock to knock and lock your Mac, either. Knock is an odd way to add another security layer to your Mac, but it works.