updated 11:00 am EST, Fri November 8, 2013
Knock simplifies Mac password entry
For those who find password protection a necessity, but a cumbersome one, Knock offers a possible solution. Designed to simplify the process of unlocking a Mac-based computer, Knock enables users to access their computer by simply tapping twice on their phone. The app takes advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 features to make pairing a breeze, while also ensuring the app doesn't cause any excessive battery drain.
Setting up the service is dead simple. After installing both iOS and Mac apps on compatible devices users are prompted to lock their iPhone and then knock twice. All of this happens without the user ever having to manually pair the device or perform any form of setup. From here on in, users can unlock their Mac by bringing their iPhone into range and knocking twice. The phone doesn't even need to be unlocked - or taken out of a pocket for that matter - as long as the app is left running in the background.
We should also note that the app requires the computer to be awake and at the lock screen. The software is not able to wake the computer from sleep, or log into an account that is not already active. A thin green line around the user's avatar provides a visual cue as to when Knock is active and ready to unlock the computer.
In it's current state the app is certainly useful, but still somewhat limited in scope. This will make it hard to justify the $4 price for some, however, the developers have suggested that future releases will greatly bolster the feature set. Knock Software hopes to integrate web support, allowing users to enter passwords around the web with the same simple knock gesture. An API has also been discussed, which could allow other app developers to integrate the "Knock to Unlock" gestures into their own software.
Before purchasing users should make sure to check that both their iOS device and Mac computer are supported. Knock lists the iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, and 4s as compatible iOS devices, while supported Macs include the 2011 MacBook Air or later, 2012 MacBook Pro or later, 2012 iMac or later, 2011 Mac mini or later, and 2013 Mac Pro.