iCloud Keychain Isn’t Very Good… Yet.

Blog, Technology

I’ve been playing around with OS X Mavericks for nearly a week now and it’s a nice, but small update to the operating system. Finder tabs and better sharing options are what I was looking forward to, but most of all I was interesting in the new iCloud Keychain.

I currently use eWallet as a way of storing passwords for my online accounts, but it’s not particularly convenient as it doesn’t run inside the web browser, which means opening the eWallet app before I can access my accounts. iCloud keychain sounded appealing because it integrates with OS X and iOS and syncs between them every time you add or change an account. 

I’m very much up for having impossible to remember passwords and being able to change them across devices easily. Especially after reading some high profile incidents of customer login details being obtained by hackers.

iCloud Keychain

However, I’m not entirely pleased with what iCloud Keychain has to offer. True, it suggests decent passwords and is reliable enough when going to login pages and seeing your details already there, but where it fails to be entirely useful is the following:

  1. No Master Password
    If I lend someone my laptop, even for 10 minutes, I’m pretty much giving them access to all my accounts and sensitive data. It wouldn’t be too much of a pain to get Safari to ask for a master password, one that is stored only on the devices themselves. That way, when I lend a colleague my laptop for 10 minutes, I won’t have suddenly bought 15 limited edition Showaddywaddy vinyls from eBay and posted a Facebook status about how much I love Justin Bieber by the time I get it back.
  2. App Support
    I changed by eBay password. Trouble is, it doesn’t have much app support right now, so I have to manually type in the complicated password into the app on both my iPhone and iPad. It would be much better if iOS recognised these as official apps and automatically input the new passwords.
  3. Other Storage
    It would also be handy if other information could be stored. Things like software serial numbers and other offline based accounts I might have. True, I don’t want to give the NSA access to my whole life, but there are a few things I wouldn’t mind being stored in the cloud.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask. It’s certainly a feasible set of ideas. Unfortunately, until at least 1 and 2 are in place, iCloud Keychain is only any good if you only own a computer and never take it out the house.

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