iCloud is new; it’s hard to really grasp what it may become in the future. For now, it manages a link to your e-mail account (if it’s a mac.com or me.com account, of course), which isn’t really rocket science; it syncs contacts and calendars; it can sync photos; and it can find your iOS device or your Mac.
However, MobileMe, which iCloud replaced, had a number of additional syncing features, one of which I’m already missing: keychain syncing. The keychain is the encrypted file on your Mac that stores your password. Being able to sync this from one Mac to another is essential, so when you create a new account on a web site, and use a secure password that you can’t remember, you can log into that same account later on another Mac. Sure, you can use 1Password, a password management tool, but it’s not the same. 1Password integrates well with a web browser, but there are more clicks to get your password entered in a web form. In addition, the keychain stores passwords for everything: web sites, e-mail accounts, FTP servers, network shares, and much more. 1Password only manages web site passwords automatically. If you want to add other passwords you can, but you must do so manually.
Ideally, Apple would not only bring back keychain syncing, but also add the keychain to iOS, so you can access your passwords there. I hope they realize how much people with more than one Mac need keychain syncing and bring it back soon. (And, while they’re at it, I’d really like my iDisk back please.*)
*It’s still there for now, but is scheduled to become extinct at the end of June, 2012. So I’m thinking ahead with that request.Posted: 10/14/2011 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X | Tags: iOS, Mac OS X | 14 Comments »