Password management apps for iPhone/iPad help you do two things very easily: auto-fill login forms and keep your passwords stored securely. These days, password manager apps have gotten to the point where you can sync your password from one device to another, including Macs and PCs.
The App Store is flooded with password managers for iOS. Obviously, only a handful of them are good, cost-effective and secure.
Here’s a list of some of the best password management apps for iPhone/iPad:
PasswordBox is a free password manager that works as a browser plug-in for Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari. It syncs to a dedicated app (for iPhones, iPads and Android) through cloud and the encryption/decryption happens only on your device. The passwords are stored locally too which makes for a safer ecosystem.
PasswordBox doesn’t come with fancy settings or preferences: it’s a simple and straight-forward password management app with a focus on keeping things really simple and easy for the user. Thoughtful features like Legacy Locker and Digital Wallet make it even more enticing. PasswordBox is free for 25 passwords but beyond that you might want to pick the unlimited subscription (that goes for $12/year).
PasswordBox Official Website
Roboform is one more password manager that works across Mac, Windows and iOS. What’s interesting is that unlike a few other password managers, Roboform installs as a program which then integrates with the browsers you use.
Roboform’s iOS app lets you save new logins within the app. The simplified interface makes it easy to search for saved logins and use them within the built-in browser. The Roboform Everywhere account (which you login via web) syncs all login data which you can then use on your PC/Mac. Although I haven’t used/tested the Multi-step logins feature, this is something I have hardly seen in other apps. If you use a website (say a bank transaction) that requires multiple steps to login and authenticate, this feature would be handy.
Roboform Official Website
Notably, KeePass isn’t an ultra-popular password manager but for those who use it, MiniKeePass is an absolute must. KeePass is a Windows/Linux/Mac client for password management. It’s an open-source project. But there are no mobile versions built by the same developer.
There are many third-party iOS apps that are built to support/integrate with KeePass but MiniKeePass is probably the best of all. MiniKeePass, though old, works like a charm if you use KeePass. It runs in the background to support auto-login-information filling when you are browsing Safari. The password databases can be secured with a PIN. And since the passwords are saved as encrypted KeyPass files, you can even copy-paste them in Dropbox folders to sync. There is no cloud sync though.
KeePass and MiniKeePass are open-source and free.
KeePass Official Website
At $12/year, LastPass is comparable to PasswordBox but the former has been in the game for a longer time with a consistent reputation. LastPass is the password manager of choice for several thousand users. Most recently, it was recommended by Kickstarter CEO too after password security breach.
LastPass works on Mac, Linux, Windows as a browser plugin. Once installed, it has some really sophisticated (but simplified) feature that will save your passwords. You have complete control over all the settings and customizations that LastPass is capable of. All of this is free.
To use LastPass for iPhone/iPad (iOS), you need a premium account that comes at $12/yr. With the iPhone app, your passwords will be synced between your devices. One downside is that LastPass doesn’t integrate with Mobile Safari so all your browsing is done from within the app (with its built-in browser). The password data, however, is stored locally (and securely) so that once synced, it is available offline too.
LastPass Official Website
Although old-school, mSecure is one of the best password managers for iPhone. It is not a minimalist app. On the contrary, mSecure comes with a full-fledged list of features that make it (even as a mobile app) enormously powerful. mSecure syncs with iCloud, has features like email backup, auto-capture, sync everywhere etc. It’s a cluster of some of the best, refined features that one would want out of a paid password manager.
mSecure’s desktop companion (for Mac and Windows) costs $19.95. Unlike LastPass, there are no annual subscriptions. It’s a one-time purchase. The iOS app costs $9.99 – pricey but worth every penny.
mSecure Official Website
It would be wrong not to mention 1Password in a list of password management apps but in a cost vs. features shootout, 1Password does go overboard with its $50 price-tag (for desktop app) and $17 (for iOS app). Yes, 1Password is a top-notch password manager with features and security that beats most other competitors but let’s be realistic: not everyone of us needs as many features and not many can shell out so much.
Password Managers and Security
Every password management service wants to be enormously secure and uncrackable. Using high-end encryption is all part of the process but it doesn’t make any particular service totally secure. And when we speak of syncing across devices/platforms, the risks are greater although developers try all they can to secure the passwords.
You might also want to take a look at other coverage on iPhone security: