Apple is making a splash across news channels since its support document for the news application iCloud Keychain was released.
According to this document, Apple claims that it can sync passwords across various devices from the company without storing these passwords in the Cloud. If this is true, Apple's latest application is a ground (cloud?) breaking innovation in password management, allowing users to create complicated passwords on one device and syncing the password to other Apple devices, without storing this on Apple servers. While this is hard to believe, overwhelming proof from the company's previous venture has left the tech community divided as to the possibility of such an application actually functioning on a commercial level.
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All other devices have password managers that sync data across multiple devices by storing password data on Cloud servers. Only options like Wi-Fi sync allow users to sync data and passwords directly between devices without storing them on the cloud. This requires a few extra steps however and reduces the simplicity and efficiency of good password manager applications.
Three user options are available to secure iCloud Keychain.
- The keychain app that contains user names and passwords for credit cards, websites and other merchant sites can be secured using a 4 digit passcode similar to ATM pins. This is the default option for all users.
- The second option is to use a longer, more complicated password instead of a 4-digit pass code.
- The third option is for the user to leave iCloud Keychain unsecured, without a PIN or passcode, preventing the device from approving other devices.
It remains to be seen if Apple has made an error while documenting the new application or has broken new ground in password management as tests are in tow to explore the new functionality in depth and determine whether Apple really has found a new method of password syncing without cloud services.