A quick peruse through the App Store reveals no shortage of password management apps, indicative perhaps of people’s desire to not, well, lose their passwords.
Passible is the latest service to throw its hat into the ring courtesy of ClearSkyApps – an Israeli development firm with perhaps more of a track-record in fitness-focused apps. Still, if ‘health’ is your thing, then keeping track of your dozens of passwords is certainly healthy, right?
We don't shill.
Check out TNW's Hard Fork.
Anyway, Passible is tackling the problem from a similar direction to the myriad of alternatives out there already, except it’s striving to emphasize simplicity and beauty, with a few neat features thrown in for good measure. Here’s a quick dive under the hood.
Passible passes the test
First, you’ll be asked to set yourself up with a master passcode so that nobody else can enter and steal all your precious passwords. Once in, it’s just a case of hitting the little ‘+’ icon and adding all the pertinent details, including the URL for the site in question (e.g. eBay.com), your username for that service, password, display name (e.g. ‘Ebay’) and, importantly, any folder you wish this account to be saved to. A separate section is dedicated to all your bank cards, covering things like card numbers, expiry dates, PIN codes and more.
You would probably want to group ‘Amazon’, ‘eBay’ and ‘Paypal’ together in a folder called ‘Ecommerce’ or something similar. You can also save up to six favorites by hitting the little heart icon at the top of the main screen, and this serves as easy access to your most commonly used accounts. These icons can actually be changed for each favorite, with a choice of 18 symbols available within the edit menu for each entry.
Passible is very much about the usability though, with a deft swipe to the right revealing your password, and flick to the left letting you delete a specific account from Passible.
Passible also lets you bypass long, meandering lists through color-coding, which helps you create sub-categories of sorts within a folder by allocating a specific color to more specific types of website. And you can add notes to each account, reminding you of any details that may be important for future reference.
A neat little password analyzer is built directly into Passible too, telling you instantly what it thinks about your choice of passwords, whether they don’t contain enough numbers or symbols, or whether you’re dumb enough to include your username in the password itself.
However, only so many of these features are available for free.
You’ll need to fork out a not-unreasonable $9.99 a year to garner online backup (iCloud), device syncing, an unlimited number of logins and cards, and a handful of extra features. In the free version, you’re restricted to just 10 total entries, so that could be eight logins plus 2 cards, or any combination.
While other password managers do let you search for a specific password by keyword, Passible delivers easy access to this function by letting you pull down to surface the search box, and it predicts what password you seek as you start typing.
Finally, Passible also comes bundled with its own privacy-focused Web browser, so you can click from within the app and it automatically logs you in to your online accounts.
It’s a really beautifully designed app, one that certainly tries to keep everything together on one screen as much as possible to minimize having to search through different tabs. The more you use it, the more you start to appreciate the little touches too, for example it will auto-complete certain details when you’re entering two or more cards, such as your name. And to save you having to enter long numbers, you can also use your device’s camera to snap a picture, and OCR takes care of the rest.
Besides AES-256 encryption, elsewhere on the security front a Passible subscription gets you theft protection, which means if someone steals your device and enters your Passible password incorrectly three times in a row, all your password data on the device will be erased. The data can be restored from the backup once a proper PIN has been entered.
Passible definitely introduces a compelling proposition to the increasingly busy password management space, and its simplicity may appeal to many. But it does lack many of the additional features you’ll find in the more-established players, such as 1Password, which lets you store software licences, driver licences, reward programs and more.
Furthermore, many of Passible’s competitors are truly cross-platform, delivering desktop apps as well as incarnations for Android or Windows Phone. Passible is an iOS-only affair for now, which will be fine for some, but not others.