iPhone and password storage?

Saving passwords: to use, or not to use, an external web service?

I tend to be conservative when it comes to new technology. I'll let someone else walk the bleeding edge, see how bad the cuts get, and then once the worst of the jagged edges have been smoothed out, give it a try. Same goes with iPhone web apps. Sure, you can jailbreak your iPhone and load all sorts of cool stuff on to the phone itself, but I personally don't have the time to tweak and troubleshoot in case something goes wrong. I depend on the dang thing too much to risk that sort of downtime.

Case in point: password storage applications.

I used to carry a Blackberry in a previous job, where I was on-call 24/7. I used a password storage app that synced between desktop and Blackberry. It was VERY handy. If I were away from my usual workstation, it was easy enough to pull up the app with all the server names/addresses, and their related logins/passwords, and get to work on any nearby workstation. With the iPhone? Wellll... not so much. There are a couple of web-based password storage companies out there willing to store and encrypt your data, but there's a few problems with this process:

1. Your data is stored externally.
What if you're in a room where there's no phone signal? Laugh all you want, but some older buildings are built to withstand bombs, and others are carefully shielded. No signal, no password retrieval.

2. Your data is stored externally.
Yes, I've repeated number one above, and here's the next issue: it's possible that the fine company that is storing your information - with all promises to keep it confidential - is storing it for other purposes. Or they get bought out by someone else who couldn't care less about the confidentiality of your information. Perhaps the site crashes, and their backups actually mess up their data encryption methods, making a restore useless. Or they could even get hacked. I don't know about you, but I prefer tighter control over password information.

3. Your data is stored externally.
Related to one and two above... what if the site isn't reachable due to server crash or network issues? Eh? Eh???

4. Okay, okay... MobilPasswordSafe stores the information in your browser, BUT:
Who the *#$!! trusts a web browser?

In summary, this Luddite is waiting for a late Spring, post-SDK release when there should be a metric boat-load of on-Phone applications available.

Agree? Disagree? Know of a password web-app that would appease this paranoiac's fears? Let me know your opinion!

3 comments:

Fun Bobby said...

I am in the same boat. I just switched from the HP Ipaq 6515 to the iPhone and have lost the ability to store my passwords on my device. I have found that eWallet has a beta test going on for an online storage app that syncs with an application on your PC, but again, you have the problems with storing the data remotely if you want to access it from your iPhone.

On a Jailbroken phone, you can use Lockbox, but it is tedious to get data into it. There is no sync between your computer and iPhone. (It also seems kind of buggy during my testing.)

I too am looking forward to a better solution. Please let me know if you find one.

d.a. said...

@fun bobby: will do!

george said...

hi,,, i buy unlocked version 1.1.2 8 gb in visielectronic.com

does anyone have the 1.1.4 version?
i really wanna know about the camera quality..

coz i think the 1.1.2 camera not really good...