Emanuele Cesena

Security Engineer at Pinterest, Co-founder at SoloKeys

MemPa ā€” A Modern Deterministic Password Manager

I recently wrote about how I manage my passwords (tl;dr: with a new deterministic password manager), because, “There are some passwords — Google, banks — that I never want to store, yet I always want to access”.
The most frequent question I’ve gotten since has been, “is there an app?” and… finally, here it is.

Today I’m thrilled to announce MemPa for iPhone & iPad.
(Android preview on Expo.)

A disclaimer, actually two: this is an MVP, with just the minimum set of features that allows the few of us with an iPhone & Mac to start using MemPa productively. Also, it’s deterministic, that — long story short — means it will generate new passwords for you, and so you’ll have to change them on all that sites where you want to use MemPa. That said, I really hope this piece won’t let you down, and that you’ll give it a try and send us some great feedback.

So what is MemPa and why should you even think about it?

MemPa is a deterministic password manager, meaning it helps you generate passwords for your sites and apps, starting from one or a few master passwords. The great thing about MemPa is that you can access your passwords anywhere, even without the app — this is in fact how I’ve mostly been using it so far. (Technical details here.) Or, for the more “marketing” explanation, you can store your passwords in the most secure place: your memory, hence the name MemPa.

You may want to think to a deterministic password manager like MemPa for all the critical passwords that you don’t want to store, nor depend upon an app, a device, a 3rd party site to access them. Clearly, having an app is very convenient on the day to day and this is why we build MemPa, but you should consider how to recover at least your most important passwords in situations where you suddenly lose access to your devices.

Here are MemPa’s core features:

  • You can copy a password with a single tap, and paste it in a website, an app, and even in your mac. Most of the times there’s no need for you to even see the password, and with a second tap you can safely clear it from the clipboards.
  • You can choose to type in your master password every time, or store it in your device’s secure storage and unlock it with the convenience of Touch ID or Face ID.
  • With Paranoid mode, you can clear all sensitive data from your device in a snap. Whether you’re traveling, sharing your device, or even just showing MemPa to a friend, you can switch to Paranoid mode anytime you feel “unsafe.” Type a fake master password and MemPa will show randomly generated/gibberish passwords. Re-add your real master password anytime, when you’re back to safety.

There are a few more features that we let you explore, including search, categories, backup & restore, multitask on iPad.

This brings us to the future steps. We truly believe that a deterministic password manager is a must for your most important passwords, those that you always want to remember and be able to access, but it can’t be the solution for all your secrets, notably for the existing ones. We’re already working on incorporating a vault into MemPa, to solve this limitation and give you the flexibility to store all your secrets in the most convenient way.

If you have an iPhone, give MemPa a try — and if you have an Android phone, you can get a preview on Expo. If you like MemPa but think it’s still missing that one really important feature, I’d love to hear what this is for you, here in the comments or on Twitter @0x0ece.

P.S: Shout out to Dave, Spig, Nax, PS, Kalamaiko, Luka & Lele for making this happen and for setting the foundations for what’s coming.

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