Apple’s most interesting power-play: iCloud Keychain®

Like most other socially deficient people I tuned into Apple’s live web cast of its opening keynote for the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). For the best part of quarter of a century the WWDC has been the one constant in Apple’s calendar for product announcements.

This year was no exception with unveiling of the new Mac Pro model of computers, the latest version of iOS7 and OS X Mavericks. One of the most striking features of iOS7 and OS X Mavericks was iCloud Keychain®.

iCloud Keychain® is an encrypted federated keychain that holds credit card details, existing passwords that suggests automated passwords for new accounts, or as Apple described it:

iCloud Keychain®, which safely stores your website login information, credit card numbers and Wi-Fi passwords, and pushes them to all of your devices so you don’t need to remember them. Information is always protected with AES-256 encryption when it’s stored on your Mac and when it’s pushed to your devices

I found this particularly interesting, as it is an extremely sticky application. No more challenge managing passwords, but also no migration path to Android or Windows. That is immensely powerful as it holds your bank details, your Amazon account or your Ocado account; literally your life in their hands. It’s mention in Apple’s keynote and related materials is supplementary to other features. The UI may get people in, but it will be iCloud Keychain® that will keep them around and sell them up on other parts of the Apple product range.

Or less charitably, iCloud Keychain® is a gateway drug to the Apple eco-system.

More information
Apple Releases Developer Preview of OS X Mavericks With More Than 200 New Features
OS X Mavericks – The next big release of the world’s most advanced operating system coming this fall