How to Automatically Lock and Unlock a Mac With an iPhone
Keeping a mobile device secure is something many worry about. But if you have an iPhone or iPad, the security of any Mac can be increased when paired with the Keycard app.
The way that the Keycard app works is that the iPhone or iPad is connected to the Mac computer over Bluetooth. When the user walks away from their computer with their device in hand, the screen of the mac locks automatically.
This is a great help for those who work out of coffee shops, or just use their Mac in public places often. The automatic screen locking provides an additional barrier to thieves who may be looking to steal information off a users laptop. It may not keep them from stealing the laptop, but Keycard provides a good step toward keeping your information private.
How to Setup Keycard.
The Keycard application is available on the Mac App Store so follow these steps to install it.
Tap App Store.
In the upper right corner use the Search area to type in Keycard and hit Enter.
On the results page choose the highlighted app:
On the next page select Buy App.
When the app is finished downloading and installing locate it in the Applications folder and Open Keycard.
Once the application opens it needs to be configured to work with the user’s iPhone. The application window will appear like below:
To setup Keycard select System Preferences.
Be sure that Bluetooth is On, and then tap Setup new device in the bottom left corner.
The iPhone also must be ready to be paired with the Mac. On the iPhone tap Settings.
On the next screen, select Bluetooth.
Be sure that Bluetooth is set to ON.
Going back to the Mac, the name of the iPhone should appear as a Bluetooth device. Select that iPhone and tap Continue.
The computer will generate a code and the user then needs to compare this code with the one that is on the iPhone screen like below:
As long as the codes match, tap Pair.
When the iPhone has successfully paired to the Mac it will show the window above, and the user should tap Quit.
Click the Keycard icon in the top bar, and select Settings button in the top right of the window.
Tap Add a new device.
Select the iPhone and tap Connect device.
Enter the 4 Digit passcode of the iPhone. This also is a good time to check Open on start-up so that the Keycard app is always ready to use.
When the Keycard app has been correctly configured with the iPhone it will show that it is connected to the device.
When the user walks away from their Mac now this screen will appear and the screen is effectively locked:
It generally locks when you get about 10ft away from the computer. By approaching the computer the app will recognize that you have returned and unlock automatically.
The app does a fairly good job of locking and unlocking but it can be a little buggy at times. It is possible to manually enter the passcode if the computer does not automatically unlock. The biggest trouble I had with the app so far is at close distances having the screen lock and unlock randomly. Overall the experience with the app is a good one, but there are still a few kinks to work out.