The problem with password managers

A password manager is an essential tool for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, as it provides safe, easy access to critical information. Just make sure you get one that syncs to your PC.

SafeWallet is a new password-management app for iPhone and iPod Touch. It stores important information like credit cards, Social Security numbers, online passwords, the PIN for your ATM, software registration codes, and so on. Price: $5.99.

Like other apps of its kind (and there are many), SafeWallet offers templates to simplify the creation of new records and encryption to protect your data from prying eyes. It's a simple, effective tool that's undeniably handy to have around.

But not handy enough. See, like other apps of its kind (and there are many), SafeWallet doesn't sync with your PC. Specifically, it has no desktop counterpart, which for me is a deal-breaker.

That's because I spend as much time at my desk as I do on the road, so I need my passwords in both places. Sure, my iPhone is usually nearby, but a desktop app affords quicker access, and it lets me copy and paste info into Web forms--which I do surprisingly often.

A desktop app also simplifies data entry: it's a lot easier to create records on my PC and sync them to my iPhone than it is to tap-type on the latter's keyboard.

Unfortunately, out of at least a dozen password managers in the App Store, I know of only two that have desktop companion software: eWallet and SplashID. At $9.99 they're a few bucks pricier than the iPhone-only apps, but I think it's money well spent.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section. I'd love to hear your feedback!

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