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Bill Bennett

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LastPass fails on iPad

Apart from the odd security snafuLastPass has served well on my Windows desktop and laptop computers. Sadly, I need to part company with what has otherwise been a great password manager because it is appalling on the Apple iPad.

LastPass good on Windows PCs

One of the best ways to stay safe online is by using a different strong, hard-to-remember, difficult-to-crack password on each site. The phrase “hard-to-remember” offers a clue why people often fail to do this.

LastPass gets around the problem by generating random, impossible-to-guess passwords at the drop of a hat, then remembering them all in a single database protected by a single master password.

Passwords auto-fill when you open web pages with the software installed, so you get an immediate productivity boost from moving directly to the important information.

Seamless password security, up to a point

Because LastPass stores your passwords online, you can get at them from anywhere. Moving from my desktop to a laptop is seamless.

It works well on a Windows PC. I’ve been a happy user for over a year and was considering moving from the free version to the US$1 a month premium version so I could use the same database from my Android phone. At that price it is a snip.

LastPass horrible on iPad

Password managers are pointless if they don’t work seamlessly across all your gadgets. There is an iPad application, but the iOS Safari browser doesn’t allow plug-ins. Instead, the iPad app installs a separate browser which in theory gives you the same auto-fill experience you see on a desktop computer.

This sounds good. It isn’t. The LastPass browser doesn’t integrate with the iPad operating system. So hitting a link from email, Twitter or any other application opens Safari rather than the LastPass browser. You need to manually cut and paste links between browsers to open pages this way – that’s just not acceptable.

Worse, the browser is clunky-looking and, in my experience, prone to crashing without warning. LastPass has a lot of work to do if it wants to be taken seriously as an iPad password manager.

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