For a security mechanism that’s existed since we came down from the trees, passwords have shown surprising longevity. Passwords nowadays act as gatekeepers to our email, banking and just about everything else we do. See all App reviews.
Unfortunately, humans are not very good at either creating or remembering passwords. Left to our own devices, we tend to pick ones that are easy for us to remember (and for others to guess), or a single hard password, which we keep reusing over and over again. Either is a dangerous approach. Take a look at our iPhone 5 review.
1Password, now in a heavily updated version 4, works by creating a virtual vault in which you can save many different kinds of sensitive information: passwords, of course, but also credit card and bank account numbers, passport data and so forth. And as for coming up with tricky passwords in the first place, it will happily generate them for you using pseudo-random characters.
The redesigned interface is both gorgeous and extremely user-friendly; 1Password automatically splits the data you enter into pre-defined categories, but the app also allows you to group your secure items in arbitrary folders – which can be useful, for example, to separate work data from personal information. Adding and editing items is easy.
Perhaps our favourite interface feature, however, is a built-in web browser that allows 1Password to automatically fill forms for you using your secure data. This is a major step forward compared to the previous version.
All your data is protected by strong encryption and can only be unlocked by a single password that you choose when you first set up the app; this makes it both very easy for you to carry all sorts of important information wherever you go, and very hard for anyone else to access it should your mobile device ever become lost or stolen.