Tapplock One+ biometric padlock easily secures your valuables [Review]

By

Tapplock One+ review
Open a gate or unlock your bike at just the press of a finger with Tapplock One+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The combination lock you used in school is a dinosaur now. It’s been replaced with much smarter versions like Tapplock One+. This has a fingerprint scanner, and a Bluetooth connection to your iPhone. It’s a padlock with no key to lose or combination to memorize.

Unlock the details in our in-depth review.

Tapplock One+ review

While it has the same basic shape as a traditional padlock, Tapplock One+ also has an obvious difference: in place of a dial there’s a fingerprint scanner.

Otherwise, the engineers didn’t mess with a successful design. This can be used anywhere you put an old-fashioned removable lock.

Tapplock promises it doesn’t have to be babied. It won’t rust, has an IP67 dust- and water-proof rating, and can function even when completely submerged. It can survive temperatures between -4 degrees to 149 degrees (-20C to 65C).

Our test unit is Midnight Black, but the One+ smart lock also comes in Gun Metal and Sterling Silver.

Tapplock One+ smart padlock
Tapplock One+ trades a fingerprint scanner for a combination dial.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

On the bottom curve of the lock is a multi-function button. Press it to activate the fingerprint scanner, turn on Bluetooth pairing mode, or even open the lock with Morse code.

Unlike a traditional combination lock, the Tapplock One+ needs an internal battery to run its advanced functions. On its very bottom edge is a proprietary power port. To recharge it, this accessory comes with a short cable that connects this port to a USB-A connector. Plug this into a wall charger, laptop, or external battery to recharge.

If the battery runs out, the One+ doesn’t unlock. It’s the opposite: without power, this lock can’t be opened.

Tapplock app

The free Tapplock application connects to the One+ over Bluetooth. It’s where you teach the lock the fingerprints it needs to recognize. Training takes only a few seconds per finger.

Accounts for multiple people can be set up, and this software can show when each person’s fingerprints were used. It can even show where the person was — handy if this lock is on something in a vehicle.

Tapplock One+ performance

Press the power button then touch a fingertip to the scanner to unlock a Tapplock One+. Getting a fingerprint recognized can sometimes take a couple of seconds, but it usually happens almost instantly.

In several weeks of testing, this smart lock always recognized a print it had been trained to find, and never gave a false positive — it didn’t mistake another fingertip for one it had been trained for.

Using Morse code to unlock the Tapplock One+ works well. Just be sure to not tell anyone this code. There are 4096 possible combinations so it’s not likely someone will guess it, but it takes an end run around the ability to track who opened the lock when and where.

The manufacturer promises the battery is good for a year, or 3,500 unlocks. We can say that the battery level of our device hardly changed over weeks of frequent testing.

Tapplock One+
Put a Tapplock One+ anywhere you’d put a standard padlock.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Tapplock One+ final thoughts

This smart padlock is much quicker and simpler to use than a combination lock, and easier to share among a group of people than a key lock.

The ability to track who opened this padlock when and where can be very convenient in a small business where multiple employees need access to a secure location or container.

The only significant drawback of the Tapplock One+ is the battery. Even if it lasts a year, don’t lose the charging cable or you’ll be cutting this lock off.

Pricing

Tapplock’s list price for the One+ smart lock is $99.

Buy from: Amazon — $99.00

That cost is, of course, significantly more than a high-quality padlock that opens with a key or combination. But those are either slower to use or limited by the number of keys available. And they certainly can’t track who opened the lock like the Tapplock One+ can.

Tapplock provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.