KeyCard for OS X – Automatically Lock Your Mac When Your iPhone is Of Range!

Posted in Apple News, Apps, Mac on 17/01/2013 by J. Glenn Künzler


Earlier this year, we shared a cool trick with you about how to automatically lock or unlock your Mac when your iPhone is in range. The solution was rather complex, however, and required a fair bit of work. App developer Appuous has a better way to do the same thing, and has launched a brand new app called KeyCard in the Mac App Store so everyone can use the concept – no technical skill required!

KeyCard 1

KeyCard works by pairing with your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch via Bluetooth, and frequently checks the strength of the signal. When the signal weakens or vanishes (ie, when you step away from your Mac), KeyCard automatically locks your Mac with a passcode. Your Mac will automatically unlock when your iPhone comes back in range.

KeyCard 2C

Setting up KeyCard is extremely simple – just enter Settings on your iOS device, and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Then, fire up KeyCard. The app will detect your device, and link it with the app. The 4-digit key code might not seem like an intuitive feature – but if your iPhone battery dies, or something isn’t working right, it provides a failsafe to unlock your Mac anyway.

KeyCard 3

We’ve been using the app for a couple of weeks now, and it works quite well! The only thing I would add is the ability to specify a range, so your Mac doesn’t lock if you simply grab something from the opposite side of the room.

KeyCard is a great little utility which I would highly recommend, and is available now on the Mac App Store. It’s the only app I know of that has this functionality, since AirLock stopped being developed a few years ago. Go get it!

  • In *most* cases, your mac is automatically supposed to unlock when your iPhone/iPad/iPod is back in “safe” range… the 4 digit pin is more so in case you don’t have your iDevice on hand and your Mac is locked…


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.