If you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, there could be a new convenience feature headed to OS X 10.12 that would allow you to forget about entering a password to login to your Mac. A new report making the rounds suggests that the next major operating system release from Apple will gain the ability to use a Touch ID-enabled iPhone to unlock your iMac or MacBook computer.
According to Mac Rumors, a finger placed on a Touch ID sensor would allow a Mac to unlock as long as it’s in close proximity to a paired iPhone. The report also suggests that Bluetooth LE would be used to establish a connection and complete the secure unlock.
In practice, this is similar to unlocking an Apple Watch with an iPhone. By default, an Apple Watch is unlocked with a passcode that is entered using an on-screen dial pad. This code must be entered if the Apple Watch is removed from your wrist, then reattached. Users, however, have the option to unlock the Apple Watch using your iPhone. So if you were to, for example, take your Apple Watch off its charging dock and strap it to your wrist, you can use Touch ID to unlock your iPhone and at the same time unlock your Apple Watch.
It’s also similar in concept to the Knock app for iOS that allows you to unlock your Mac using an iPhone -- also via Bluetooth. But of course, having this functionality come straight from Apple would allow for a simpler and more secure connection and could open up Touch ID authentication to other tasks within OS X.
It’s also been suggested that this “Remote” Touch ID could be used to authenticate purchases made on a Mac using Apple Pay.