iPhone Gems: All 22 Wallet Apps, Reviewed
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Passwords ($4) is an app that is designed to perform the single purpose of storing passwords. No custom item types or fields are supported, with each entry simply being a site name, user name, password, and some free-form notes. Items may be organized into a single level of groups, and initial groups are provided for home, school, work and other. Additional categories may be added, but once added you’re stuck with them—they cannot be removed or renamed.
No integrated browser is provided. Instead clicking on a URL will simply exit Passwords and open the web page in Safari, where of course no password reference or web form filling is available.
As a free app, this one would possibly be worthwhile for those who simply need to organize basic information, but with a $4 price tag the extremely limited functionality it provides is disappointing. iLounge Rating: D.
Passwords ($1) is another small app with a non-distinct name that is again designed with the single purpose of storing web site passwords on your iPhone. Like its identically-named counterpart, Passwords contains only fields for a web site URL, username and password.
Further, like the other Passwords app, no integrated browser is included. Instead a rather prominent “Open in Safari” button is provided on the detail screen to allow you to open the present link in the iPhone’s MobileSafari browser. Note as well that there are no fields for notes or even an actual title for each entry—the URL is the title in this case.
At $1 it could almost be considered reasonable except for the rather unpleasant user interface, and the fact that you cannot actually edit existing entries at all—you can only delete them and then re-create them from scratch. iLounge Rating: D.
Saphir ($8) is a slightly more generic attempt at a personal information manager with a couple of moderately interesting twists. Most notably, you can specify either a traditional text-based password or a graphical password.
The text-based password works as expected, and Saphir enforces a minimum length of six characters in this case. A graphical password, on the other hand, involves tapping on a series of at least five images to form your password. When you next want to log in, you simply tap the same series of images again, in the same order.
While this may be an interesting twist for users who have a hard time remembering words or numbers, it does come across as more of a gimmick than a practical feature, particularly when viewed in light of Saphir’s other features—or lack thereof—and its $8 price tag. Specifically, Saphir provides no concept of fields or record types. Everything is a basically a note with a title and a free-form text field. As an added bonus, a picture can be added from your camera or your iPhone photo library to any item, although we’re not entirely sure what practical purpose this serves in a personal information storage app.
At a much lower price tag, Saphir might be an interesting option for users who are looking for something a bit unique, but for $8 we find it substantially overpriced for what it actually offers. iLounge Rating: D.
Coffre Fort ($2) is an application with its documentation and App Store page entirely in the French language, however, the application is actually bilingual and will displays its information in either English or French according to your iPhone’s language setting. Literally translated, Coffre Fort means “strongbox” or “safe,” and the English version of the application actually shows a title of “Private Safe” on your iPhone home screen and within the application itself.
Beyond its dual-language support, however, Coffre Fort is generally unremarkable. The application provides fixed-field support for Internet accounts, Bank accounts, Credit cards and Private notes, but beyond the descriptions, all fields are free-form with no validation of contextually-appropriate data entry (i.e., fields that should be numeric or date fields do not display a numeric keypad or date browser).
About the only unique feature that Coffre Fort offers is the ability to send Bank Account information out via e-mail. Like Cards, once you have set a password it cannot be changed, and there is no intruder lockout feature. Further, your item titles are actually shown at the initial sign on screen even before a password is entered.
The most serious limitation of Coffre Fort is the lack of any encryption of your “secure” data. While encryption is not specifically advertised, this is something that most users of apps advertised as “secure” have come to expect as a core feature. The data stored by Coffre Fort is stored in plain text within an SQLite database which can be read either via direct access to a jailbroken iPhone, or more easily from the iPhone backups maintained by iTunes in a matter of seconds by a user with even a moderate level of iPhone and iTunes experience. This lack of security is a serious enough flaw in an app that is intended to store credit cards and passwords to warrant our lowest possible rating. iLounge Rating: F.
iSecret ($5) is another wallet app that provides relatively basic functionality for the price tag. Login is handled via numeric code PIN rather than a text-based password, and no intruder detection/lockout is provided, though the password can at least be changed.
iSecret supports numerous different item types and provides a number of general templates to get you started in the form of categories. These categories can be further customized, or you can add your own. You can define your own field names for each category, but no actual field types are supported—all fields are generic text with no validation or the ability to hide or mask fields.
iSecret also provides no folder structure at all. Categories are used merely as templates to define field names, and do not appear anywhere else in the user interface as either organizational or search criteria. iSecret does provide a basic search functionality for item titles, but only the actual names/titles of each item can be searched.
As with FireBox, this application does not provide anything significant or distinct for its $5 price tag, and most importantly iSecret does not actually encrypt your data. Thirty seconds with the use of the mdhelper application resulted in access to the iSecret.db file with all confidential information, including credit cards, passwords and PIN numbers in clear and readable text. Even though the developer does not specifically claim encryption, many users have come to assume that a “secure” wallet app means that at least some form of encryption will be used, a deficiency that is inexcusable in any app of this nature and actually offensive for an app with a $5 price tag. iLounge Rating: F.
Keeper ($1) is a basic wallet app that takes a slightly more basic approach to password storage. Rather than worrying about customization of data types and fields, Keeper has only a single record type with no field customization. Each record consists of a title, two “secrets” and an additional notes field. There are no further categories, and no search feature. Other than a generic alphabetical record listing, Keeper provides a single other view of recently-accessed items.
Keeper uses a PIN-based (numeric) login screen, and would be a generally unremarkable application except for one feature: it incorporates an intruder lockout feature with a “Self-Destruct” feature. After five incorrect passwords, Keeper will erase all of its own data—your secrets—from your iPhone, returning it to the same configuration as when it was first installed. The number of attempts cannot be customized, but the Self-Desctruct option can be enabled or disabled in the application’s “Tools” section.
Unfortunately, like iSecret, Keeper doesn’t actually encrypt your data, leaving all of your “secrets” and even your PIN completely readable to anybody with direct access to your iPhone or your iPhone backups. In other words, a hacker’s better off not bothering to guess your PIN; it’s available just by connecting the iPhone a computer.iLounge Rating: F.
ME iWebLogin ($5) is designed solely for the purpose of storing web-based logins and allowing simple sign-ons to various stored web sites. Access is controlled by a simple password with no intruder lockout or forgotten password recovery capabilities. Once in the application, your saved logins are presented in a scrolling list menu type of view.
Entries are added or removed by tapping the + or - symbols, respectively.
Tapping “New Password” will allow you to change the application’s password, although this button is easily confused with adding a new entry. Selecting an entry and tapping “Accept” will open an integrated web browser where you will be taken to the appropriate web page and signed on.
The browser includes a number of buttons at the top for page navigation, to return to the main screen, edit the current entry, or paste in the login name and password information from the current entry. Your only way to edit an existing entry is to open the browser and then tap the “Edit” button. A summary of these buttons can be viewed by tapping the “i” symbol from the main screen.
Unfortunately, iWebLogin suffers from the same issue as a few of the other apps we’ve reviewed: a lack of encryption. Your saved web userids and passwords are stored in the clear and available either directly on a jailbroken iPhone or via your iPhone backups. While this may be less of an issue for an app that stores only web passwords as opposed to personal financial information, it is still a glaring deficiency in a $5 application. iLounge Rating: F.
NotePadLock ($2) is a secure note storage application that almost falls into an entirely different category from the other apps we’ve looked at, but is included here as it is a general-purpose secure storage app. Rather than taking the approach of a single password that opens up the entire database, NotePadLock uses a six-digit code as its filing system. You basically create a note with a title and text, and then lock it down with a six-digit code. You then use that particular code to retrieve or edit that particular note. If you want to create another note, you simply secure it with a different code.
You can re-save an existing note with the same code by tapping on the padlock, or change the code by tapping on a key icon that appears after editing an existing note. No master database or index of notes is provided. If you create a note with a given code and then forget that code, you will basically forget that this note even existed. This approach may appeal to a certain type of user, but in general it does not seem practical. Further, no encryption is supported at all, with all codes and notes being easily readable from your iPhone backup folder, which for the same reasons as described above for other applications leaves this particular app with our lowest rating. iLounge Rating: F.
Passwd ($1) is a small app that is devoted solely to the storage of passwords. Fields are provided only for the storage of basic web login and password information, along with a URL to the web site and a free-form notes field. An integrated browser is included to open the URL and display the user id and password in a pop-up window.
The biggest problem with this particular application is the same one we’ve identified with several others—a complete lack of encryption. Information is stored not even in an SQLite database, but actually in PLIST files, including both the application password itself and any “secured” logins. It’s cheap, but hugely insecure. iLounge Rating: F.
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