Missing App: A Browser that Does Passwords Right
During the day, as I work on my job-related as well as extracurricular activities, I visit a lot of websites. Many of those websites require passwords. Working on my laptop, logging into those sites is a breeze – I use LastPass to store all of my passwords, and the program works flawlessly to fill in the correct password, or in some cases automatically log me into the site. Even better, LastPass keeps all of my passwords synchronized online, so I can safely access them no matter which computer I happen to use. I know a lot of you use 1Password or KeePass with similar results – they are all great programs that have transformed the way we manage our passwords.
So why can’t I have the same password experience on a mobile device – in my case, an iPad? Sure, LastPass, 1Password and KeePass all have iPad and iPhone apps, so I do have access to all of my passwords on the iPad. But it’s a clumsy process; when I browse to a website that requires a password, I have to go to the LastPass app, log in, search for that website, copy the password, then go back to my browser and paste it into the blank. If I don’t remember my username, I have to do the same process all over again. Why can’t iPad browsers have this key functionality built into the device?
I know what you’re thinking – Safari offers to save a password when you enter it, right? You’re right – and the next time you visit that site, Safari will fill the password in for you. The problem is, that password then lives only in Safari. The benefit of a good password manager is the ability to sync it among devices; siloing the passwords in a browser is ultimately not that helpful.
You might also ask, doesn’t LastPass have its own browser? Yes, it does – the LastPass Tab Browser (http://bit.ly/bLbiCo) connects directly to your LastPass account, and will fill in the username/password when you visit a login page. But it’s a pretty simple browser – you can’t save bookmarks, and it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Atomic Browser (http://bit.ly/Aijo4g) or even Safari. Further, it can’t handle sites where you might have multiple accounts – for example, I have three Twitter accounts, but LastPass will only fill in the password for the first account in your list. So although it gets me halfway there, it’s not a good solution.
So that’s my wish – for a browser app that gets password integration right, so my web browsing can be seamless and uninterrupted. If one of you – LastPass, 1Password, or KeePass, any of you – creates a browser that works well, or provides a plugin for Safari, Atomic, Dolphin, or other popular browser, you will have an instant, forever customer. That wouldn’t be too hard to do – would it?