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personal information safe

Using a password manager such as KeePass Manage Your Passwords On The Go With KeePassDroid [1.5+] Manage Your Passwords On The Go With KeePassDroid [1.5+] With a 4.6 rating out of over 13,000 reviews and with over half a million installations, it is no wonder that KeePassDroid founds its way into our coveted list of Best Android Apps. If you... Read More is something everyone should do, really. Managing your passwords is not just for geeks, and using one or two passwords for everything is just asking for trouble. But KeePass is a bit technical and may seem intimidating for people new to password management.

Besides, we have many different tidbits in our life that need to be saved and/or memorized, not just passwords: What about credit card numbers and their PINs, bank codes, passport numbers (especially when travelling abroad), and all those other things?

Enter Pocket, a free information “wallet” for Android, and one of the most recent entries in our Best of Android page. Pocket can be used for managing passwords, but also other information. It has built-in Dropbox sync, and a lovely cross-platform desktop client. And it’s entirely free, too.

Beginner-Friendly

personal information safe

When you first launch Pocket, it doesn’t just drop you into a “new database” screen. Instead, it shows a nice, long explanation about why you should even care about protecting your personal data.

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Once you understand why using Pocket is a good idea, it’s time to pick a database, or a “pocket:”

personal information security

I am using Pocket for the first time, so I elected to create a new pocket. Obviously, I would need to pick a password for my database:

personal information security

Note that Pocket doesn’t try to get you to pick a passphrase, but just a simple password. Again – I get the feeling the application is trying hard not to go over new users’ heads, and make it easy to get started with password management. One can only hope users don’t go for obvious passwords like “asdfg.”

Once you have a password for your database, and before you even create the first entry, Pocket makes sure you’re backed up to Dropbox:

personal information security

I picked Existing Dropbox Account, and Pocket had me enter my username and password right in the app (without launching a browser as most apps do). And… that was it:

android personal information security

To begin using my new pocket, I had to enter my password:

android personal information security

And now comes a part I really liked: Pocked comes pre-populated with lots and lots of categories of personal information that people might want to keep in the app. It’s not just for passwords – in fact, I would say passwords aren’t even the main focus for Pocket. Sure, you can use it to manage passwords, but it is not aimed at people who have thousands of them. Instead, it lets you store information in the following categories by default:

android personal information security

What’s cool is that every category can have its own template, with its own custom named fields. Take the Credit Cards category for example:

pocket[16]

I get a field for every important detail I need to remember about my credit card. One drawback is that fields do not have any input validation, and there are no field types (except for password fields). This means that you can write anything you want in the Issue Date, and you need to do it with a regular keyboard rather than a date picker. This is one area that could be improved.

Tim Clark, Pocket’s creator, obviously took care in creating the categories, picking their icons, and thinking up relevant fields. Here’s one for inoculations:

pocket[20]

Definitely interesting. Still, if the fields Tim picked aren’t right for you, you can always edit them right in the app:

pocket[22]

Storing Passwords

So far, so good, but we haven’t seen any passwords yet – just credit card numbers and inoculation information. Well, here’s a password right here:

pocket[26]

Pretty simple stuff: You get username and password fields, as well as a space for notes. One important note is that while Pocket features sensible categories, you cannot have sub-categories. This means if you need to manage hundreds of passwords in a complex hierarchy, Pocket is definitely not for you. But if you’re just starting out with password management, Pocket is great. In fact, it can even help you come up with a password:

pocket[24]

The generator is simple and won’t let you set templates for generating pronounceable passwords and such, but it is very usable.

Pocket On The Desktop

Tim Clark offers a desktop Pocket companion, which can be used for editing Pocket files using Dropbox. The desktop version is as stylish as the Android one:

pocket[28]

And this is what a single entry looks like:

personal information safe

Again – nothing too fancy, but definitely usable. I think making the interface beautiful is actually important to get people to start using it.

Final Thoughts

Pocket is aimed at a specific audience (new users), and does a great job catering to it. If you are a hard-core nerd, this may not be your password management tool of choice. But if you show it to your non-techie friends and family, who still save their PIN numbers as contacts in their phonebook, they might just fall in love. Beautifully executed.

  1. Sara Landrum
    September 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I have been using this since my first android, years ago. I am tech savvy, and I still LOVE the pocket app, I store all my info here, including heirloom recipes, hospital and Dr records, passwords, everything. It is fairly simple to customize to what you need. I want to say think you to the designer, creator. I have passed on the app to others who are aslo very appreciative of it. Thank You :)

  2. Mark
    January 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    How about the ability to store pictures on this?

  3. Hari
    April 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Just want to point out that apps open a browser for accepting 3rd party websites, not because they are incapable of prompting for the cress, but rather it is more secure. In other words, a rogue app can't steal my password to something like dropbox. I don't generally even enter my password, unless the app takes me to the external browser. Some app developers get smart and integrate the browser into the app, but that makes me weary, as technically the app could be faking or snooping.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 24, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Hmm, interesting point on security. Never thought of it like that. I was always looking at the UX side of things: I think prompting in-app provides a better experience.

      I feel that even if forwarded to a browser, an app might still have a way to snoop somehow (maybe I'm wrong). At the end of the day, I think we should only provide third-party creds to apps we -really- trust and that have a proven reputation.

  4. Suhel
    April 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Finally, I knew this was coming ^^.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

      What, you were waiting for a post about Pocket all this time? :)

      • Suhel
        April 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        Not really, but you gave me this comment
        "Excellent! Adding this one, thank you!"
        under 100best android apps. So I knew one fine day you will make an article on it :p

        • Erez Zukerman
          April 24, 2012 at 6:21 am

          Ahhh! So, thank you for recommending it! :) As you can see, we are definitely listening, so if you find any other great apps, ping us! :)

  5. Rishi
    April 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Readitlater renamed to Pocket too.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Yup! I wonder if Pocket are going to rename now.

  6. Loksch
    April 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    This appears to be a very solid App. My search....so far it is unsuccessful....is to locate and App for Android that does the same functions as LastPass. The reason for this is that I use their App on my PC but, in order to use their App in my phone or tablet...I have to pay $$$. I am not against buying Apps at reasonable prices...but, if one is free then all should be free. Do you know of any alternatives ????
    Thank You.

    • Erez Zukerman
      April 22, 2012 at 5:57 am

      Like I said in the post: I 100% recommend KeePass + Dropbox. That's what I personally use, and it's totally free, and works across PC+Android smoothly.

  7. Tyler Caudle
    April 21, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I tried pocket once a couple months ago and I didn't much care for it I personally prefer lastpass the only problem with lastpass is you need a premium account to access your passwords on mobile devices but I think its worth $12 a year for access to all my 200+ passwords on every device I own.
    As for keepass when I first used it a several years ago there were absolutely no mobile applications that could open the keepass database so I could view my passwords so I just used an encrypted notepad app until I found something better.

    • Swanny
      April 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

      With LastPass, you don't necessarily NEED a premium account to access your passwords on a mobile device. You can set up bookmarklets that allow you to automatically login to sites. They have a very basic mobile site as well that you can access free of charge.

      Gotta admit I was confused for a split second reading about Pocket being a "handy, free personal information safe" considering Read it Later was only recently renamed to Pocket!

      • Erez Zukerman
        April 22, 2012 at 5:58 am

        True! The post was written before Read it Later became Pocket, but it's one of the more confusing renaming clashes I've seen recently.

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