Everything else requires a login of sorts and that requires a password. Apple’s Keychain app can store usernames and passwords but anyone who steals or uses your Mac or iPhone has access. Years ago I started using password manager apps and while that helps to organize and utilize passwords with fewer clicks, it’s still another single repository that holds everything.
With apologies to Henry David Thoreau and ‘Simplify, simplify, simplify‘ I don’t think it’s that easy anymore. I’m not certain Thoreau did a good job of simplifying anything. He died at 44 and and looked 88.
The more I dig around the interwebs and try out specific apps the more I’m convinced there is not an easier way to navigate securely, swiftly, simply than Apple’s very own Touch ID fingerprint sensor. On the iPhone, a screen pops up and tells you to use the Home button to unlock this or that. Easy peasy, winner winner, chicken dinner, folks. Maybe an automatic retina scanner or DNA scan through your skin would be easier, but Touch ID is perfectly sensible, naturally usable.
This week one of the most popular password manager apps decided to go free. LastPass can be used on your Mac, iPhone, or Windows and Android device. For free. Like the popular 1Password app, LastPass stores usernames, login IDs, passwords and other important, valuable data in a secure space with AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and even PBKDF2 SHA-256. This kind of security is about as good as it gets and LastPass makes it easy enough to login to websites securely.
Touch ID makes it better and not enough applications utilize Apple’s simple to use but hard as nails technology. Not that long ago I started to switch to applications that ran on Mac, iPhone, and iPad and shared data across iCloud, Dropbox, or whatever other decently price cloud storage service.
Now I’m making sure my apps that require a login also have Touch ID as an option. Why? It’s just too damned easy and too secure not to use. Touch ID is that good. Thanks to Apple’s new Touch Bar in the soon-to-be-available MacBook Pro models (the two at the high end, not the entry level model), Touch ID will come to the Mac, and ostensibly make it easier to login to websites and make purchases online much the same way it’s done with Touch ID on iPhone and Watch.
I don’t mind a monolithic username and password management application so long as all the data I store can be synchronized between Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and remains encrypted and secure. But it’s 2016 already and high security should be matched with ease of use, and that’s Touch ID. 1Password has it for iPhone and iPad. Next up, the Mac.
Note to Mac app developers who require login IDs and passwords. Get with the program and make sure Touch ID works with your apps. Just like the growing requirement to have the same app on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Watch, Touch ID will become a necessity, not a want.