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 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.