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[Android] Best free password manager

Some of us use the same password for every login. (Very bad idea.) If you are one of these people, you don’t require a password manager. (Unless, of course, you need a password manager to remember all your usernames. Would it then be considered a username manager? o_O) However, many of us don’t use the same password for all logins. While we may not necessarily have a different password for every login, we do use multiple different passwords for our logins and need help remembering them. (There is no shame in needing assistance to remember login information.) This is why God created password managers.

Take note while the norm for password managers in Windows is to be highly integrated with the Internet browser (i.e. how Roboform shows a popup window whenever you load a login page), password managers are more simplistic on Android: They typically aren’t integrated with the Internet browser, but rather they serve as a visual reference which you can look at before you go to login. In other words, with password managers on Android you look at the login information, store it in your short-term memory, and login before you forget the login information. Android password managers don’t perform “automated logins” – they don’t enter the username/password for you into websites. (Most of them don’t right now, anyway; Android password management may evolve in the future to include automated logins.)

This article is part of our Best Free Android Apps [1] repository. Feel free to drop by [1] when you have time!

Table of Contents

Best Free Password Manager

App Name: KeePassDroid [6] [7]

Developer: Brian Pellin

Download Size: 943 KB

Version Reviewed: v1.9.2

Requires: Android 1.5 and up

Pros

Cons

Discussion

KeePass is a free, open source (and highly popular) password manager for Windows, Linux, and Mac. KeePassDroid is the Android version of KeePass. As such, it includes all the excellence and security of KeePass… in ‘droid form.

In terms of storing passwords, KeePassDroid provides the same basic password management functionality as all other password managers for Android. What makes KeePassDroid more attractive than the competition is its combination of simplicity and security:

Simplicity

Security

That said, I would like to point out three things:

Lastly, there is one issue I have with KeePassDroid. In my opinion, it is reasonable that a user may heavily use KeePassDroid. It gets very annoying to have to navigate to KeePassDroid on the homescreen (or in the app tray) whenever you want to access it. I would like KeePassDroid to have the option of placing an icon in the notification bar which would allow users to access KeePassDroid with the tap of a button.

To conclude, sure KeePassDroid may not have a very fancy interface, but the combination of simplicity and security and interconnectedness with the desktop version of KeePass puts KeePassDroid at the top of my list as the best free password manager for Android.

Runner Up

App Name: Pocket [10] [11]

Developer: Tim Clark

Download Size: 1.3 MB

Version Reviewed: v2.5

Requires: Android 1.6 and up

Discussion

Like KeePassDroid, Pocket allows users to save login (username, password, and notes) information. However, in addition to that, Pocket provides users with the ability to save many other types of information such as bank account details, credit card information, insurance information, and a lot more other categories. Pocket also has built-in support for Dropbox [9] sync, whereas you must manually do it with KeePassDroid. Supporting more types of information, however, makes Pocket a bit more cluttered and “harder” to use than KeePassDroid. I put harder in quotes because Pocket really isn’t that hard to use.

In regards to login information, like KeePassDroid, Pocket masks passwords and allows users to copy usernames and/or password. (Uou must tap the username/password in Pocket to copy it; there are no shortcuts put in the notification bar.) Pocket also has the ability to automatically logout after X time of inactivity.

In my opinion, the biggest attraction of Pocket over KeePassDroid (aside from the obvious fact that Pocket supports more types of information) is Pocket’s interface. Pocket’s interface is very well designed, as opposed to KeePassDroid which is basically just black. On the other hand, however, Pocket shows ads so it requires internet access privileges. (You can purchase Pocket Pro about $2.20 USD to get rid of the ads.) According to the developer, Pocket uses AES encryption and SHA hashing to protect you, so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about regarding internet access. However, for the truly paranoid (like myself) internet access in a password storage app is a deal-breaker.

Overall, I feel the final decider between KeePassDroid and Pocket will come down to simplicity vs features. If you are looking for a simple, secure password manager KeePassDroid is the way to go. If you are looking for a password manager with other functionality, Pocket is superior.

If you do end up going with Pocket, let me give you a heads up about something so you are aware. When trying to access Pocket, you are asked to enter the master password. At that same screen there is a question mark button in the top right corner. When the question mark button is tapped, it tells users a password is required to login and shows a “Forgot” button for users that forgot their password. This “Forgot” button does not remind you of the master password. Rather, it gives you the option to completely delete the whole database and start from scratch. Anyone can access this and erase the database. If you piss someone off and they know about Pocket, they can get back at you by wiping your whole database via the method I just described. I highly suggest you consider using an application locker [12] on Pocket to avoid being ****ed by someone.

Honorable Mention

App Name: B-Folders [13] [14]

Developer: JointLogic Ltd.

Download Size: 327 KB

Version Reviewed: v2.9.2

Requires: Android 1.6 and up

Discussion

Like Pocket, B-Folders manages users’ login information and then some. However, in regards to password management B-Folders is not as good as KeePassDroid; in regards to support for other types of information, Pocket has B-Folders beat. Plus out of all three apps, B-Folders probably has the most confusing interface. (Although, it isn’t that bad either.) However, what makes B-Folders a competitior is its native sync feature.

B-Folders has the ability to sync your data with other B-Folder apps on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, and/or tablet. It should be noted, though, while B-Folders is free on Android (smartphone and tablets), it costs $29.95 USD on desktops/laptops.

Other Alternatives

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jointlogic.bfolders.android