(Updated 12/3) To keep track of all the various web site passwords, log-ins accounts, serial numbers and other top secret secrets in my life, I’ve been using the OS X version of Acrylic Software’s Wallet program (Acrylic was formerly known as Waterfall Software). It’s one of the best looking and best performing password managers I’ve seen. And today, the long-awaited version of Wallet for iPhones and iPods Touch arrived in the App store, accompanied by a 3.0 upgrade to the main OS X version. It was well worth the wait.
Like all password managers, Wallet is essentially just a locked or encrypted database. Assign one very long and hard to crack password to the database and all your secrets are secure. Unlock the database with the single password and you can see all your secrets. Wallet automatically locks up if your computer goes to sleep, too. Both the iPhone and OS X versions allow you create as many sub groupings as you want to better organize your secret information. I split my secrets up between serial numbers, web stuff, login accounts, credit cards and “other” but you can set up any organizational scheme you require. Then within each group, you can further customize data fields however you’d like. There’s a great search function that looks across all your groups, too. And you can get your data out by exporting in a variety of formats if you ever want to switch to a competing product.
The best new feature is synchronization. If you have a MobileMe account, you can have various versions of Wallet on Macs, iPhones and iPods all keeping each other up to date through your MobileMe account. When I loaded Wallet onto my iPod, it took several attempts to get the program to see my already-hefty, saved database on MobileMe and download it. But once it did, I had all my passwords available on my iPod. If you don’t have a MobileMe account, Wallet can sync between your Mac and iPhone/iPod over local wifi. You can set Wallet to sync every time you quit, every time it locks the database or just when you tell it to manually.
There are a few glitches. As I mentioned, I had to re-enter my MobileMe information four or five times before it took. And each time, when I went to re-enter my account name and password on my iPod, I got a confusing dialogue box asking if I wanted to wipe out the data on the local device or clear data stored at MobileMe. The wording should be clearer, because if I wiped out the MobileMe version and synced to my Mac, I might lose everything. I also have used a dashboard widget on my Mac to access my Wallet data quickly, but the widget doesn’t seem to be able to read the upgraded version 3.0 database format. I emailed Acrylic but haven’t heard back from them about a possible fix.
UPDATE: Acrylic’s Dustin McDonald responds to my question, confirming that the old Wallet widget is incompatible with the version 3.0 updated database format, adding “most likely be updating this soon.”
Here’s a screenshot of the new main app (with some fake data showing). Clicking on one of the plus buttons creates either a new subgroup or a new item within a group. The little cloud and arrow button manually syncs your database.
Finally, this is not a free app. The new iPhone version costs $3.99 and the OS X version is $20 or $5 for those of us already using version 2. But to keep your secrets safe and your mind free of too much gunk, Wallet is well worth the price.