‘Tether’ Unlocks Your MacBook If Your iPhone Is Nearby

As a MacBook user, I’ve used a few apps (Knock, for example) that attempted to help unlock my Mac more easily. Using gestures like waving my hand in front of the camera to facial recognition, none worked quite like this new, free app, oddly named Tether.

'Tether' Unlocks Your MacBook If Your iPhone Is Nearby

I will admit, I can tend to be lazy when it comes to logging in my password, to the point I even have some passwords remembered through 1Password so I don’t have to type them in on sites I frequently view, but I also know that not having a password at all is a bad idea. This is where Tether comes into play.

Tether consists of two apps that you install, one on your iPhone, and one on your Mac; they will detect how close your phone (up to 30 feet) is from your computer through Bluetooth and automatically lock your Mac when your phone is a certain number of meters away.

Tether unlocks your Mac using your OSX user account password that’s stored in Keychain, not the app itself (for those who “value safety…). So, say you’re at Starbucks and have to use go and grab a refill. Tether will realize the distance you’ve created and lock your Mac, so someone cannot access anything. It should  go without saying: I wouldn’t leave my laptop just sitting around in a coffee shop, but to each his own.

'Tether' Unlocks Your MacBook If Your iPhone Is Nearby

There is nothing else you need to do other than keep your phone on your person. Tether uses Bluetooth 4.0, which is low-energy enough to not cause concern about a battery drain, but you must be on iOS8 for iPhone, and 10.10.1 or newer for OS X/Mac. So if you have a mid-2011 Macbook or newer, this app will work for you.

You can download Tether for free from the App Sore for iPhone, and Tether’s Site for the Mac.

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.