Review: True Key for iOS

I’ve been using 1Password for years – both their desktop and mobile products. Altough it works fine, I was curious to see what are the alternatives I can use on my iPhone. After some hits and misses, I’ve installed the True Key personal password manager, which is developed by Intel Security and offered for free.

True Key in action

I am not what you would call an avid user of iOS applications. I’ve tried and/or tested hundreds of apps, but on a daily basis I use maybe 5 or 6 of them.

Most developers don’t put much thought into the aesthetics and core functionality of their mobile apps, but True Key for iOS is one of the best looking applications I’ve came across for a long time.

As far as bugs are concerned, I only discovered a small issue with filling Pinterest credentials into Safari when I tested random predefined password templates – everything else worked as intended.

True Key

True Key for iOS is very easy to use and its graphical user interface is clean and intuitive. It works great whether you are browsing and filling passwords from inside the app, or you are using the Add feature from Safari.

The app’s launchpad comes with a predefined set of 30 popular web applications templates, but you can always add a new login combination from the extensive search for list, or set up a new one.

Other functionality includes generating complex passwords, managing secure notes, and adding personal data inside the application’s wallet.

True Key

Multi-factor authentication

By default, every True Key account has a master password that is used to log into the application. Intel Security calls this Basic authentication and encourages users to increase security by switching to Advanced authentication, for which they can choose one of the following combos: face biometrics & master password, master password & Touch ID, and Face & Touch ID.

Face recognition is used by a number of iOS security applications and, in my opinion, it’s a very bad idea to use it as the only form of authentication, as printing a headshot of the user and placing it in front of the camera will always fool the system. Aside from the standard Face option, True Key can also record what they call Enhanced Face. This requires a turn of your head left and right so more unique physical spots can be detected, automatically enhancing the security of the authentication process.

True Key

Expanding True Key on other devices

While I was just interested in the iOS application, there is also a desktop version of True Key. It can be run on Windows and Mac OS X and, as can be seen on the product homepage, it has the same slick look and feel of the mobile app.

The (desktop) product can be used free of charge for up to 15 saved logins – a premium subscription is needed if you need to surpass that number. I’ve created 17 logins within True Key for iOS without needing to upgrade, so I presume that the mobile version is free without any restrictions.

When choosing a password manager, there are a couple of things to take into consideration: ease of use, expected functionality, authentication methods, and the overall look and feel of the application. True Key excels at all of these things.