I Want Keychain Syncing Back in iCloud

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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.




14 replies
    • kirk says:

      You need to make a hardlink to it, right? And, yes, with potential conflicts, I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be with that.

      Reply
  1. bil says:

    I am with you, and if iCloud doesn’t bring back most of the features from mobileme, I’ll walk away and not come back to Apple’s vision of the cloud, it’s just too painful to have to switch things around every few years. I’m going to try out Keychain2Go, http://www.jinx.de/Keychain2Go.html to see if it will do as a replacement, fwiw.

    Reply
  2. Matt says:

    They could start by giving the Keychain Access application a facelift. Say what you want about 1Password, but the interface is clean and easy-to-use. Plus the Dropbox sync feature is priceless.

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      But 1Password only works well with browsers; the keychain interfaces with all kinds of applications.

      Reply
  3. GC says:

    As soon as I heard Apple was dropping Keychain sync from iCloud I posted a message to Apple’s Support Communities Forums encouraging everyone who agreed to send feedback to Apple to encourage them to re-instate Keychain sync.

    The syncing features of MobileMe was the main reason I paid for a MobileMe subscription. Knowing that and settings I configured on one Mac would migrate to all my other Macs was one of the best and most unique features of the Mac platform. I can’t believe Apple dropped them in the transition to iCloud.

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/icloud.html

    Reply
  4. Neil says:

    I agree with you Kirk, personally I don’t really use keychain syncing but I am a frequent user of iDisk and would prefer not having to move all my files over to another program.

    Reply
    • Mike says:

      @Neil
      I agree about wanting to keep iDisk, but copying my folder structure from iDisk to Dropbox tool all of 5 seconds. Obviously the physical syncing took longer, but once your file structure is set up you no longer have to do anything to it.

      And Dropbox seems to be integrated with a more programs, and has a web based interface that you can access from any computer, and the iOS app you can use on an iPhone or iPad.

      Once the initial shock of Apple eliminating iDisk wore off, I haven’t looked back.

      Reply
      • kirk says:

        Yes, but to have more than the 2 GB storage, it’s $100 a year, the same cost as MobileMe. And I don’t need 50GB; if they offered 20GB, at a similar price (it would probably be less than $50), I’d go for it.

        Reply
  5. Andrew says:

    If you don’t want to pay for dropbox, I’d suggest getting a box.net account today as they have a promo going right now for the week and will give you a 50GB box for free for life.

    I too miss the keychain sync and I hope Apple will listen to its customers because that is the main reason I was using MobileMe.

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      I saw the promo yesterday, and checked it out. All file transfer is via a web browser; there’s no syncing like Dropbox. That’s really not practical.

      Reply
  6. Alexias says:

    D I T T O – Not switching to iCloud until Keychain Sync is added or June 2012…whichever comes first. If Apple iCloud never adds a Keychain Sync app/option, I’m optimistic something will come along that works well. I have tried 1Password, its an option, not ideal but it gets the job done.

    Reply
  7. Keith says:

    I will not switch my MobileMe account to iCloud until Keychain Sync is added. It is so much about “MACs just work”. As a technical manager and engineer at IBM I have a hard time understanding why this feature would be dropped. It also needs to be added to IOS devices.

    Reply

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