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Apple Users Can Now 'Knock' on iPhone to Unlock Mac

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The new Knock app is more secure than a password, and undeniably fun.

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If you are an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devotee with both a Mac and an iPhone, there is a cool new way to use both in tandem. Knock, a new app, allows you to unlock your Mac with just two taps on your iPhone.

It's pretty simple, but it seems just magical in the promo video. And it isn't just a parlor trick. Compared to the tired old process of typing passwords, its actually more secure. Knock uses Bluetooth Low Energy to detect your Mac so the battery doesn't drain completely, and only works when you yourself are around. Paired with a fingerprint-scanning iPhone 5S, you have a pretty foolproof security setup.



There's only one catch right now: The app might be a bit buggy. Benjamin Mayo of 9to5 Mac says that in practice, Knock failed a few times and had to be restarted, which is a bit of a buzzkill.

Knock is a good example of how the tech world is separating into tribes; the benefits of sticking to one company's products and services is beginning to outweigh omnivorism. The past few updates to iOS and OS X have woven the mobile and desktop experience together. For those who use it, you can have your to-dos, email, iMessages, iBooks, Maps (for the masochistic) and social accounts integrate seamlessly. Apple makes it better to be a stalwart customer than fair-weather friend. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is hoping to pull off the same platform trick across desktops, phones, tablets, and even the Xbox console devices as well. Both are hoping that their Web services will keep customers locked in and loyal.

I have a Mac, but my Android phone and the fact that I've used Gmail and other Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) services for a decade keeps me pretty much locked into Google's ecosystem and also precludes me from using this $3.99 app. I recently considered getting an iPad Mini or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle for reading, but decided against it partly because I know that I will end up using Google's apps instead of Apple's anyway.

For the developers of Knock, it was smart to target the two- to three-screen Apple fans.

More from Minyanville:

Google Crushes Dream of Android 4.4 KitKat

New Rumor Says Apple Will Debut Large Format iPad Next Spring

What Apple's 2013 Shopping Spree Tells Us

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
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