Password managers are like exercise, some people are really into and and you know its good for you but it always seems like too much effort.
A few times I’ve actually gotten around to trying out password managers and I went pretty far down the rabbit hole with LastPass at one point, but its never stuck with me before. LastPass was ok, but just seemed clunky and instead of making life easier always seemed to make things take just a little bit more effort.
Everyone raves about 1Password but the point of a password manager is to prevent my bank account from being emptied out – 1Password seems to achieve that by emptying it before anyone else gets a chance to. They’ve got to make a living and all and they seem to be doing very well at that, so best of luck to them, but I just can’t justify paying that kind of price for each device and then regularly paying again for upgrades. Especially not when I really don’t want to be bothered with a manager at all.
So I stuck with just memorising a bunch of reasonably good passwords and using openID where I could. Pretty much everything that matters to me uses two factor authentication anyway.
But iCloud keychain has changed that. It’s free, it’s preinstalled and most importantly its incredibly simple. Perhaps most importantly, it started delivering value without me having to actually do anything. Passwords just started syncing and autofilling – awesome. Then I happened to be creating a new account and right there inline it offered a random one. Having seen sync working well already there was no reason not to accept it. All of a sudden, each time I use an account I take a moment to change the password to something random.
Other password managers have way more features, but simple, free and preinstalled is a powerful combination. A lot of people are going to start using password managers with iCloud. The good news for folks like 1Password is that some of them will decide its worth stepping up to something more powerful. Plus, if they can integrate with iCloud keychain, they may finally find a way to make password management on iOS not suck.