Open source done right
I love Mozilla. I love what they are trying to achieve. Look at some project of theirs like Common Voice, Firefox Reality, or Hubs.
Their latest project is Lockwise, a password management application. Or if you want to take it from their words: "Securely access the passwords you’ve saved in Firefox from anywhere — even outside of the browser."
Almost one and a half year has passed since Mozilla has announced Lockwise. As I continue to use their product, Firefox, and seeing they come up with good features such as Total Cookie Protection, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Although, the current status of Lockwise is making this difficult. After one and a half year, it still does not support autofill for other apps, it has massive syncing issues and has no two factor authentication. It still does not have a password generator for crying outloud! I do not want to believe that Mozilla created this as a PR move and abandoned it the minute that it has done its job of attracting users. I really do not want to believe that.
What makes Lockwise good?
Most browsers have some sort of password save functionality. However, they are not managers, they are like internal implementation to store passwords.
Default browser password stores are not safe. Default password saves are stored either without any encryption or very weak encryption methods. Thus, they are not safe to use.
Also, you cannot use these stores outside the browser. The passwords are saved only to be used inside of whatever browser you are using. Even if you want to go to the password store and want to copy to password, there is no easy way to do it.
Lockwise operates as a regular password manager. You can create new logins, search the existing ones, copy the credentials, or view them. You can easily use the credentials outside the browser. There is a master key protection option. You will only need to remember one mater password.
These are some of the advantages of Lockwise. However, I saved the biggest advantage to the last. Convenience. You don't need to do anything. Literally nothing. No need to install additional software. Why is this important? When dropbox was first introduced, some people said things along the way of "No need for a separate software. Just host a ftp server. Install an agent. Create a symlink and that's it!". Well... No. That's not it. This requires many steps and this requires knowledge to set up. Dropbox is easy. Download, install, signup, and start using. Lockwise is even simpler, only signup and start using. This is it.
Last but not least, they didn't complicate things. Very often open source projects tend to do many things at once giving lots of options and lots of customization, which is nice but not always necessary. Instead, giving the minimal viable product to public and tweaking/adding features depending on the feedback is a better idea.
Aren't there better alternatives?
There are many better alternatives. The one alternative that I am using is keepass. I wouldn't call it a better alternative but here it goes. I am using KeeWeb to manage passwords. I sync the file with dropbox. But I do not expect people to like this approach. It requires several steps and it does not auto fill the forms out of the box.
There are many password managers. One other open source manager other than keepass is Bitwarden. It is free and it is very good. There are other very popular managers. Lastpass and 1Password would be the most popular of them. Are they better? Most likely yes! If you want to take advantage of more features, go with any of the ones mentioned here. The reason that I am mentioning is that I love the idea of this simplicity. It just works.
Any missing features in Lockwise?
There are some. The most note-worthy one being a password generation. It stores the credentials but it does not offer for a new credential. Which is okay depending on how you want to use the password manager. I highly recommend using a password generator since this basically the whole point of using password managers. There are features lacking in Lockwise but new features can always be added.