Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Apple Passwords Deserve an App

Cabel Sasser (Mastodon, Hacker News):

Very few people know these things because Apple tucks all of their important password features away in weird little Settings panels, instead of in a Proper Real App. I think this is a mistake.

Passwords are productivity, not preferences.


Break Passwords out into a standalone app, with an actual fully resizable window (!!), and full, proper UI for most of its features[…] PS: there is one place where Apple provides a nice standalone iCloud Passwords management app, with a fully resizable window. On Windows!?! 🫠

John Gruber:

Apple should break these features out into a discrete Passwords app, and they should launch a marketing campaign to raise awareness of it. I’ve been using the built-in password management in iOS and MacOS (and iCloud for syncing) for years, and last summer I switched all of my 2FA verification codes to it too. It’s a great system, especially if you use Safari as your web browser. But the biggest reason it isn’t used more is that zillions of people don’t even know it’s there.


As a postscript, it’s also possible that you know this feature exists within Settings, but don’t know that it offers full import and export options, because those commands are tucked away in a “···” menu.

Dan Moren:

Unlike Cabel, however, I would like Apple to implement some sort of family sharing feature for Passwords. I share a bunch of logins with my wife, and while I can share them with 1Password, there’s an additional hurdle to getting someone on a third-party app that requires their own account, etc. Especially as we shift more and more to passkeys, where traditional methods of sharing will be impractical, it’s more important that Apple make it easier to share credentials.

John Gruber:

Apple Notes added robust small-scale sharing years ago and hasn’t sherlocked the market for third-party notes apps. I think the same would be true for passwords.

Glenn Fleishman:

Cabel is right on a Passwords app—which could also manage FIDO hardware security keys, passkeys (they need a management app in addition to the website-based enrollment UI), and everything else.

Damien Petrilli:

Knowing that you can be robbed from your iCloud account easily by stealing your iPhone pin code, it might [not] be a good idea to put all your eggs in the same basket.


Update (2023-04-07): Nick Heer:

iCloud Keychain works great for my needs, but its existing implementations leave much to be desired. As of MacOS Ventura, the preferred way to do password-related things is through the Passwords pane in System Settings. But its performance flags with the number of passwords I have.

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