Monday, January 28, 2013

Finally gave in an subscribed to Lastpass Premium

I’ve been using Lastpass for a long time on the desktop. But unfortunately, the one for the iOS is not free. Yes, it is only $12/year, but aren’t we all cheap?

I tried several ways to sync passwords to the iPhone but it was not seamless as Lastpass Premium. The one I had been using was MiniKeePass. But it was hard work.

First you have to import all the passwords from Lastpass to the desktop version, KeePass, using CSV file. Then you have to sync the passwords database to the phone using either iTunes or Dropbox. There were two problems. Firstly, you have to manually add an entry to the KeePass database when you add a new entry in Lastpass. Secondly, when you open up the database file from the iPhone, it would make a copy of the database file and not refer to the file in Dropbox folder. That means, even though the Dropbox folder has the latest version of your database file, MiniKeePass won’t. You have to delete the old file from MiniKeePass and then open the new one from Dropbox. Even when sycning the file via iTunes, you had to remove the existing file and add the new file again.

Lastpass has a JavaScript based auto login method using Bookmarklets. But I have found that it works very slowly (with 3G no thanks to SoftBank) and sometimes does not work at all. Not to mention, you cannot add the bookmarklet directly from the phone. You have to add the bookmarklet on a browser on the PC and sync it back to the phone. Syncing bookmarks isn’t that straight forward because iTunes only supports IE on the PC. (It adds another layer of hard work. I can of course use Xmarks, but I prefer to use sync inside Chrome because Xmarks has screwed up my bookmarks few times. I can use Transmute though. No, I’ll just pay the $1/month for peace of mind.)

Either way, none of them can integrate with Safari or Chrome. So unless you have visited a website and have asked the browser to remember the password, you will have to copy and paste the password to Safari. You can use Lastpass’s inbuilt browser, but I hate using inbuilt browsers in any app. I want everything to open in Safari.

So, I have another year till I find a free solution to this problem. Maybe the bookmarklets work fine on LTE. My 2 year subscription ends in another 9 months. ;)

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