May 3, 2010 at 7:39 AM by Dr. Drang
I opened TaskPaper on my iPhone1 this weekend for the first time in several days, and I ran into its worst feature: the occasional requirement to re-enter my password when syncing. I hate this with a passion and don’t understand why I need to do it.
Most frustrating is that the problem stems from my doing what I’m supposed to do. For syncing, TaskPaper uses my Google ID, which has a long, secure password that uses a mixture of letters and other characters. I don’t have it committed to memory because I use 1Password—in fact, 1Password generated it for me.
Wait, I hear you saying. If you’re a 1Password user, your Google password should be available in 1Password. Don’t tell me you’re too cheap to buy 1Password for the iPhone!
Stop entering my imagination and making insinuations.
I do own 1Password for the iPhone and my Google credentials are in it. Here’s what I did when TaskPaper asked for my password:
- Pushed the Home button to exit TaskPaper.
- Flicked over to the screen with 1Password and launched it.
- Entered my 4-digit code.
- Scrolled down to the Google entry.
- Entered my master password.
- Copied the Google password to the iPhone clipboard.
- Pushed the home button to exit 1Password.
- Flicked over to the screen with TaskPaper and relaunched it.
- Started a sync so I’d be asked for my credentials again.
- Held my finger down in the password field so I could paste the clipboard contents.
And after this ten-step process…nothing. I wasn’t allowed to paste into that field. A security measure, I guess, but not one that provides any protection to speak of. If I lost my phone and was stupid enough to have my passwords in plain text somewhere on it, the thief would be annoyed by his inability to copy the password and paste it into TaskPaper, but he wouldn’t be thwarted.
Just as I was annoyed but wasn’t thwarted. I went back to 1Password, wrote down the Google password on a slip of paper, went back to TaskPaper, and laboriously typed it into the password field.
You could make a case that by not storing my password, TaskPaper was helping my syncs stay secure. I might even agree with you on that. But you’ll never convince me that preventing pasting into the password field is anything but a nuisance. A bit of worthless security theatre in an otherwise fine program.