Clef is my new favourite app! I spend a lot of time on WordPress in between devices which means that I get logged out a lot, have to log back in, forget my password, have to change it, go back into email occasionally get logged out of that, need a new password there so overall it uses up valuable writing time but more moreover, it’s just not good for karma.
I’ll briefly run through how the app works from user experience. The app sits on your phone (iPhone and Android) and Clef requires your name and email address to register. Beyond this you enter a four digit pin number which is your login for Clef.
Separately you have to enable Clef on what I would imagine is a growing number of websites (Facebook is included through a browser app called Waltz) but I’ll talk about WordPress. Simply install the Clef Plugin from your WordPress dashboard and as long as you are logged in with your phone (by PIN) you can now log in to WordPress.
To log into WordPress at anytime your phone will display on screen waves which you have to hold up and sync with the waves on the WordPress login page provided by Clef on your (MacBook).
Once you log out of Clef on your phone, you’ll be kicked out of the WordPress dashboard. It really is that simple and I imagine as Clef login becomes more popular, it will feature as a standard login option to websites like Facebook has.
Clef also allows login through Apple’s Touch ID technology and for devices which do not support secure biometrics, it will default securely back to a PIN login.
Clef was founded by a group of Computer Science grads from Pomona College, LA and launched in June 2013. CEO, Brennan Byrne explains that his two Co-founders are perfect and that he can’t imagine starting a company without them.
Initially however, Byrne explains that there was serious competition (at least from his side!) between himself and now Chief Product Officer, Jesse Pollak. Whilst Pollak was in year one at College, Byrne was in year three yet way behind in terms of his development experience.
He turned down working on a new app idea with Pollak saying it would not work, when in reality he just didn’t have the web development experience. Go to Byrne’s blog to read the post but when the two finally worked together at a Hackathon, Byrne said he was in awe of the way Pollak worked, a force of nature and he realised that he could not compete because Pollak was ahead in a way that was fundamental and impossible to ever recover.
This is when he realised he would need to somehow join forces.. and this is part of the story of how Clef was born.