Earlier this week at Apple’s latest media event, the Cupertino company finally released the newest Mac operating system: OS X Mavericks, to the world. Alongside this release came a more silent release of iOS 7.0.3 which brought with it full iCloud Keychain compatibility to go along with Mavericks.
If you’re unaware of what iCloud Keychain allows you to do, think of it like browser saved passwords, for all of your Apple devices. Once you have set up this new feature, you’ll be able to sign into all of your favorite websites in Safari without having entered any of your passwords. It even stores your credit card details for purchases. Don’t worry, the data is all encrypted locally, so Apple won’t be handling all of your credit card numbers without your permission.
As with everything Apple, the setup process is relatively hassle-free, with the only slight issue I ran into being a prerequisite setting which I had altered in the past. I’ll be walking you though every step to setup this new feature in the video walkthrough that can be found below.
This new addition certainly is welcome to anyone who regularly uses Safari on their iOS devices. I, myself, tend to use Google Chrome more than Safari, but that’s purely because I regularly switch between both iOS and Android. If your main platform is iOS, it makes sense to use Safari for the extra speed that it brings. The addition of a cloud-based Keychain syncing service is a big win for Apple in the browser department.
There’s even a new option to actually create a password using Safari when you sign up to a new service. Safari will then store that password and propagate it to all of your devices as normal. This makes it seem like Apple are throwing down the gauntlet to services like 1Password or LastPass. It’s certainly more convenient to have a password manager constantly available when your iOS device is in use.
The only problem I see with this service is that it’s not reaching it’s full potential until it has system-wide application. Imagine being able to download an app from the App Store, and having no required sign in because it’s a service iCloud recognizes from your Safari Keychain.
Imagine downloading the Amazon application, and being able to one-touch purchase an item without having to enter a password or payment method. Certainly a little way off, but I’m extremely excited that it could be an eventuality.