JR Raphael

Make Android your personal password manager

October 12, 2010 3:24 PM EDT

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Android Password Manager

These days, you practically need a full-time assistant to keep track of all your Internet passwords. Let's face it: From social networks to shopping sites, most of us have enough log-in info to feed a small furry animal for months. (Assuming, that is, that the animal somehow eats usernames and passwords. Hey, I don't know what kind of weird creatures you keep around your house.)

Back to the matter at hand, though: There's no shortage of options for managing passwords from your PC's Web browser. But when you're surfing the Web from your smartphone, you're suddenly left out in the cold -- with only your overworked and overloaded brain to rely on.

Luckily, there is a better way.

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LastPass: The Android Password Manager

Ever heard of LastPass? The service, named one of PCWorld's "Best Products of 2009," securely stores your various Web passwords and then fills them in automatically as you browse. LastPass syncs your info across multiple platforms -- and thanks to a recent expansion, Android is now among its full-featured options.

LastPass BarcodeLastPass has two different Android apps available. The first is essentially an interface to manage your stored data; once you've entered your LastPass credentials, you can use the program to search and access all of your saved username/password combos.

It's LastPass's newly added second app, however, that sets it apart from other Android password management services. The app is an add-on for Dolphin Browser, one of Android's top third-party Web browsers.

LastPass Dolphin AppOnce installed, the LastPass app puts your saved passwords right into Dolphin; anytime you need to sign into a site, you simply tap on an icon within the browser, select the "AutoFill" option, and you're good to go.

If you're concerned about security -- which you should be -- LastPass has you covered. The app's default settings require you to manually enter your LastPass credentials once per session before you can get to any of your saved stuff. So yes, you do still have to enter a password -- but it's one password to remember and type as opposed to, say, 100.

While the core LastPass service is free, the Android integration requires a dollar-per-month "premium" account in order to function. You do get a free two-week trial when you download either LastPass Android app, though, so it's easy to check it out and see if it's the right tool for you.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.



Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.