Codebook Password Manager Mobile App

I have written about Codebook Secure Notebook and the STRIP Password Manager, both here and in Your Ultimate Security Guide: iOS.  Due to some major recent changes to these systems they merit a revisit.  Zetetic, the company that publishes both of these applications, has merged them into a single app.  At first this concerned me greatly.  Though I loved STRIP and think it is one of the more secure password managers on the market, acceptable replacements exist.  What really concerned me was the potential loss of Codebook.  Codebook was an encrypted notes application for which I have not yet found a suitable alternative.  Fortunately Zetetic has given us our cake and allowed us to eat it, too.  The new application, Codebook Password Manager and Data Vault, combines the best features of both of these applications.

One of the stated reasons for the change was the name “STRIP”.  Originally STRIP was a light-hearted acronym for Secure Tool for Remembering Important Passwords.  Unfortunately, people searching for the app online often found many other, less savory uses of the word “strip”. The full name of the application is now a much more serious, though somewhat unweildy, Codebook Password Manager and Data Vault.

The new version of Codebook Password Manager provides the same password management tools as the old version.  My favorite among these is the organic ability to store TOTP/OAUTH tokens inside the app.  TOTP/OAUTH is the Time-based One Time Password/Open Authentication protocol that is commonly referred to as “Google Authenticator”.  This capability negates the need for a second authentication app on the device.  The new Codebook also mimics the old version’s ability to record and securely store notes.  I love the ability to jot down notes on my iPhone but hate that they are not securely stored.  I also dislike that the native iOS Notes application can by synced with (insecure) email accounts.  Codebook solves this problem by giving you an encrypted platform for securely storing notes.

Codebook Secure Notebook Screens

Codebook Password Manager is very easy to use.  Enter your password (or create a new one).  Once you are logged in to your database click the “+” icon in the upper-right side of the screen.  This will allow you to create a “New Entry” or “New Note”.  Entries are password managment fodder like usernames and passwords.  New notes are free-form entries that allow you to jot down thoughts, lists, etc.

I have only two complaints with the updated version of Codebook.  First, I miss the old Codebook shield icon.  The icon really doesn’t matter, but I really liked the old one.  Also worth noting: I miss some of the old menu options.  The old Codebook was a dedicated note-taking app and allowed me to choose my font and pitch.  The new version does not; alas the text in my notes look big and clunky in comparison. As I said, these are minor complaints and really don’t matter to the app’s function.

The new app is  available for Android, iOS, OS X, and Windows.

4 thoughts on “Codebook Password Manager Mobile App”

  1. Thanks for the review. I always struggled with the name STRIP and am glad to see that they changed it. Although codebook is not search perfect either. My favorite feature is the cloudless sync from my desktop to my phone. I would like to see a deep dive into how secure these password managers are. Back in 2012 there was a report that basically said most of these companies don’t know enough about encryption to write truly secure software. STRIP lite was the only exception.

    1. Bryan,

      It’s funny you bring this up – just today I decided to do a write-up on KeePass forks for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. I remember the article you’re talking about – which is a big reason I chose to use STRIP. Unfortunately I don’t have the time or tech to investigate the crypto in them myself, but I think generally they have gotten way better in recent years.

      Thanks for posting!

  2. Justin,

    I currently use 1Password and have been happy with it for years. I have a lot of information stored there, but have been looking for an open source alternative going forward. I don’t mind paying for a new service and Codebook seems like a good solution from what I have read from you on this blog and in your book. Do you still use Codebook and recommend it? I need the ability to synch between my Mac and iPhone (will be trying the wifi synch for the first time). Wanted to check to make sure you were still a fan of this password manager and if switching would be a good idea from what I am using now. Thanks for all your information!

    1. UNK1,

      I do like Codebook. At the moment I am using KeePassX on Mac, and am in the process of switching to MiniKeePass for iOS. This setup allows me to transfer databases from computer to phone using iTunes. It also has the advantage of being free. I am always playing around with new things to stay current and expand my knowledge base and am am planning a full write-up on this setup soon.

      Anyway, I think Codebook is a fantastic option if you don’t mind the cost (iOS and OS X versions are priced separately). I also think it is a bit more streamlined and feels “nicer” than the KeePass forks, which are strictly utilitarian. I would not consider it truly open-source.

      Thanks for reading!

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