FaceID for Mac — Jamf Unlock Brings a Most Wanted Feature


When Apple included TouchID on their Macs, it became a hit. So much so that it felt incomplete to authenticate users without Apple’s glorious biometric security system quickly. FaceID for Macs is another security feature we crave on our Macs. But sadly, there are no signs of Apple including it anytime soon. 

Jamf is here to help! Well, partially, at least. Jamf has launched an app, Jamf Unlock, that allows you to use FaceID for authentication purposes if your Mac is tied to an enterprise management system. 

FaceID for Mac — for the password-less future

It’s a bummer that macOS doesn’t support FaceID. Having FaceID on Macs can eliminate the need to punch in a password every time you want to log in to your Mac. It also takes away the need to place your fingerprint on the TouchID sensor on your Mac to authenticate. 

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Gartner’s VP Analyst, Ant Allan, states that the firm predicts by 2022, 60% of large and global enterprises and 90% of midsize enterprises will implement authentication methods for more than 50% of use cases. A stark increase from just two years ago, when it stood at 5%. 

Jamf unlock uses a certification system to allow using biometric data from your iOS device to authenticate logins on your Mac. Courtesy: 9to5Mac
Jamf unlock uses a certification system to allow using biometric data from your iOS device to authenticate logins on your Mac. Courtesy: 9to5Mac

The promising new data predictions have gotten companies like Jamf to launch ways to get early into the business. Jamf Unlock essentially uses a certificate to a trusted iOS device, extending users to leverage their enterprise cloud identity to unlock the Mac, using Face ID, Touch ID, or a rotating PIN on their iPhone.

FaceID for Mac
Jamf Unlock app for using FaceID on Mac. Courtesy: 9to5Mac

Jamf uses the Secure Enclave on the iOS device and generates a certification to authenticate enterprise Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (or IDP). Adding to this is that the certificated is not portable and cannot be transferred to another device without going through the entire process to trust the device. So the data stays natively in the Mac and the iOS device. 

Why can’t Apple do the same?

Apple is infamous for embedding “new” features into their OS, a direct copy of ideas and features third-party developers bring in via apps. And this “all for the ecosystem” strategy might play out in the future as well when password-less authentication catches on. Even if Apple doesn’t necessarily include the FaceID hardware onto their Mac, it might enable using your iPhone or iPads hardware to do the same. 

Sayak Mukherjee
An auto-enthusiast & tech hobbyist who passes time with cinema.

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