Times change. Apple moves on. Mac apps and utilities move on, too. But not all of them. The venerable Steel, an elegant password, login ID, and serial number database, has been discontinued. For the past few months I’ve been moving all my Steel data, and there’s about 10 years of data, to my Wallet.
It would be difficult to find much that’s wrong with Steel, other than not enough Mac users found it useful. After all, there are a few dozen utilities that do the same thing.
Steel looked like iTunes or iPhoto for your passwords, serial numbers, and credit card information. It was elegant, simple to use, and always worked (except for exporting data).
Alas, Mac utilities need customers, and Steel didn’t have enough. Steel’s publisher recommends 1Password, which I have and use. For login IDs and passwords.
The problem most of us have is that we have too much information; far more than we can remember. Stickies don’t help. My Mac’s screen would be cluttered beyond unusable with Stickies.
I believe in the right tool for the job so I use 1Password for what it does best. Login ID’s and passwords. It will do more, but not as elegantly as other Mac utilities.
My problem is that I’ve collected all kinds of valuable data through the years, most of it stuck in Steel. For a few months I tried a dozen similar utilities but decided on Wallet.
Easy, Secure, Dependable
What I want in a utility is simplicity and flexibility, ease of use and security, affordability and dependability.
Wallet is straightforward. The left column contains whatever groups you want. Email login IDs and passwords. Serial numbers. Web sites. Wireless networks. Credit cards. Create folder groups for anything. Organization is up to you.
The center column shows whatever is in the Group you’ve selected, arranged alphabetically, and scrollable. Click on a selection, and the details show up in the right column. Buttons are clearly defined to Add or Edit accordingly.
A major issue with storing all of your very important data—from credit card numbers to serial numbers to passwords—is security. What happens when someone steals your Mac or iPhone?
Wallet comes with 256-bit AES encryption which locks your data. Wallet also automatically locks up after a specified period of time, or when your Mac enters sleep mode.
The Access Log lets you see if anyone has been in snoop dog mode.
Send In The Clouds
MobileMe finally works and more Mac apps and utilities take advantage of the ability to sync Mac to Mac or Mac to iPhone by using MobileMe.
Having data securely stored in your MobileMe account makes it available to you should your Mac get stolen, a hard drive die, or you lose your iPhone. One click or one tap syncs it all.
Wallet has an auto fill for forms which works in Safari, through the same feature is available in Safari and even better in 1Password. The iPhone version of Wallet is an extra $3.99 (above Wallet’s price tag of $20), a remarkable value.
Apps and utilities these days seem to be victims of Feature Creep™. Whatever can be added gets added.
Wallet searches through entries quickly, encrypts attached files, even generates secure passwords, and has both import and export from other applications. Alas, the Steel data export could not be imported by Wallet, so my conversion process has been by hand.
This is what you want a Mac utility to be.