Is iCloud Keychain a 1Password killer?

icon_icloud_keychainWith the announcement of OS X Mavericks at WWDC 2013, Apple also unveiled a new feature that could threaten password managers like 1Password. Bringing back iCloud syncing functionality to the Keychain (Apple killed this feature nearly two years ago), Apple also introduced their potential 1Password killer: iCloud Keychain.

Find out why 1Password might be in trouble after the break.

Update: Now that iCloud Keychain is out, we’ve reviewed it. Find out if it turned out to be a 1Password killer!

Mavericks’ new Keychain includes all of the features you’d expect in a password manager, including username and password syncing across devices, auto-fill in the browser – even Safari on iOS 7, password generation, and storing your credit card information. 1Password already does these things with the exception of integration with Safari on iOS – but the 1Password app has its own browser built-in.

iCloud Keychain goes a step further with true Safari integration – something 1Password can’t match. Password suggestions seamlessly appear and suggest strong passwords for you to use when creating new accounts online, and usernames and passwords are saved to your Keychain as easily as they are saved now. There’s no more running separate apps to grab passwords, or paying upgrade fees for the latest version of 1Password if you rely on iCloud Keychain.

The biggest benefit has got to be the integration with Safari across Apple’s platforms. 1Password on iOS feels a bit like a hack, offering nowhere near the integration that it does on the Mac. If you want to use Safari as your browser you must first run the 1Password app, find your login, copy it, head back over to Safari and paste it in the login field for a website. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it means that I must now dedicate a space on my home screen for my password manager’s app.

Same goes for credit card details. The same process must be repeated, but often times there’s multiple copy and paste steps as you switch between Safari and 1Password to copy your credit card number and security code and double-check your expiration date. It’s rather annoying.

Cost also plays a factor in deciding what to use to store your important information. iCloud Keychain is free with Mavericks and iOS 7. 1Password starts at $25 on the Mac and $9 on iOS – a cost you’ve likely already paid. Upgrades come every couple of years and cost near $20 on the Mac and another $9 or $10 on iOS. You don’t have to upgrade, of course, but who doesn’t?

Are you going to switch to iCloud Keychain and dump 1Password when Mavericks and iOS 7 come out later this year? Let us know your reasoning for switching or sticking with 1Password in the comments below. You can also read more about what OS X Mavericks has to offer in our post-WWDC round-up.

4 thoughts on “Is iCloud Keychain a 1Password killer?

  1. The 1Password plugin, avail for most major browsers, puts all its functionality right in your toolbar, you rarely launch the app itself. No copy and paste required. Am surprised you did not know that.

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