The Death of Dashlane for ios

Dashlane is Getting Worse Despite All Obvious Evidence to the Contrary

Since Dashlane 5 was released I’ve read several professional reviewers glowing accounts of how great Dashlane is…but is it really? Seasoned users like myself will tell you a completely different story.

Dashlane’s Video Introducing Dashlane 5

A month or two ago Dashlane sent me an email that had a very excited tone to it. They’d just released a big new update…Dashlane 5. It was supposed to be amazing! I was super busy at the time and didn’t have time to really check it out…but something occurred the other day to make me think I needed to.

This is my impression of the video and what I found at both Dashlane’s website as well as while using it as I was checking things out.

It seems to me that Dashlane focuses way to much on appearances and making things look good than they do on matters of security, making things work correctly and addressing their longtime customer concerns. I appreciate visually pleasing resources perhaps more than most do…but my quick impression is that Dashlane looks more polished and professional than ever…but that their continually pleasing exterior is hiding some very ugly truths.

Why I Think Dashlane’s Service Has Degraded Overtime

I guess I’m somewhat spoiled because I’ve used Dashlane for a very long time. At least 4 years. In the beginning Dashlane was so amazing that the pared down services of today pale greatly in comparison. But I don’t think I’m unique in expecting that things like apps will improve with time…not get worse.

As the company continues to take away features from ios users they tell us that we’ve been heard. They tell us that all the things they’ve taken away won’t matter anymore once we’ve seen the new and exciting things that are coming. But frankly…I’ve been waiting for 2 years now.

Not only do I not see any new things coming but I just see my overall security getting worse and worse the longer I continue to use Dashlane.

Dashlane’s Service Was Better 2 Years Ago

Why do I say that? Because I felt more secure 2 years ago. That’s why I was such a vocal and enthusiastic supporter of their service! Ask anyone who knows me. 2 years ago I was Dashlane’s biggest cheerleader. I bugged anyone and everyone to join. I couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t…it’s free after all. For all the amazing benefits Dashlane offered it was a no brainer. But that was 2 years ago.

It really makes me sad to realize that I haven’t suggested anyone begin using Dashlane in a very long time. It makes me sad because I think I finally have come to the realization that it’s not going to change…ever.

My earlier post about Dashlane this year

I think the reason that you see all the glowing reviews are because they’re from brand new users who have nothing to compare it to. If you’ve never used a password manager before then Dashlane might seem great…but for anyone with any knowledge…Dashlane is spread way too thin and they are not devoting the proper resources to the proper places. Customer service has been an ongoing problem which thankfully I’ve not had to utilize in quite some time. But based upon current reviews their customer service has not been improved upon either. Frankly I’ve seen no improvements of any kind in several years…just degradation of service which I’ve received explanations for…but those too haven’t really been all that illuminating in the bigger, long-term picture.

You can read several other ios apps users’ reviews in the screenshot below…most of which I can concur with. You can also read Dashlane supports reply to another blog post I wrote a little less than a year ago expressing some similar but less alarming concerns. The post was called ‘Dashlane for ios Has Serious Problems Revealed by the Cloudbleed Incident.’ In it I was frustrated because I found it nearly impossible to use Dashlane to change passwords following Cloudbleed. The situation has not changed. The promises made by the support team in their reply, which you’ll find by scrolling down to the end of the post never came to fruition and it’s still as difficult trying to change a password in Dashlane for ios.

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A Few Examples of Things That Have Gotten Worse

2 years ago on the heels of Heartbleed was when Dashlane released their amazing new Password Changer. Password Changer was ground breaking! It was exciting to anyone interested in data security! It was the flashiest kind of announcement that could have been made right after Heartbleed. There was only one problem…it didn’t work. In retrospect this was another instance of perception over function.

Dashlane said it would take time to program in all the requirements for each individual website. I got that. I’m sure I couldn’t appreciate how incredibly complex that task must be…but come on guys…it’s been 2 years now and it still doesn’t work!

Password Changer is the single most defining aspect of who I’m beginning to realize Dashlane as a company really is. Appearances are so much more important than truths!

……………………………………

Password Changer’s Lack of Functionality and Unfulfilled Promises Should Have Been a Red Flag for Me

But frankly…I didn’t want to see it…I wanted Dashlane to succeed. I wanted to be excited about all that they were capable of.

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More Ways Dashlane Was Better 2 Years Ago

I used to get security alerts often from my ios Dashlane app…I no longer do! I can’t even think of the last time I received an alert from Dashlane warning me about anything it’s been that long ago. Something that happened recently made me acutely aware of this. As most of my readers know I use iPads exclusively. It takes quite a few iPads to make that work…because no matter what anyone tells you iPads cannot replace computers…but that’s another story. It so happened that I had the opportunity to see my Dashlane account on a Mac computer. It was on Dashlane’s Security Checkup screen.

I was shocked at what I saw!

I learned that I had at least 54 accounts that were compromised out of 431. Compromised means that the website was breached and my password is more than likely in the hands of hackers. I also learned that Imgur, where I have an account, was recently breached too. We’d just arrived home from traveling so I assumed I’d missed some things while on vacation. Later that day I made a concentrated effort to go scope things out using the Dashlane apps on my iPads. But I was surprised to see that there was nothing to scope! No notifications. No compromised passwords…no alert about Imgur…nothing! As far as my ios app told me my Dashlane data is as secure as ever.

The ios app has no method of accomplishing a security check…this is a serious failing. The only way to discover if a password isn’t secure is by viewing the individual password or by viewing Password Changer. Password Changer displays only 30 passwords of my 431. Of those displayed none are highlighted as compromised. Instead 7 of them are flagged as unsafe. That’s a huge difference…54 compromised versus 7 unsafe. On the Mac computer unsafe was also shown as a category so I’m left to assume that the ios app will never ever show me when a password has been compromised. I assume this because currently none of my 431 passwords are designated as compromised. Nor do I ever recall having seen one designated that way in my 4 years of use.

……………………………..

So what I learned is that mobile users aren’t provided with full information about the present state of their passwords safety.

This is not acceptable!

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Most of my readers also know that I religiously try to stay on top of security matters and I write about them often…so how did so many of my passwords become compromised without my knowledge? Apparently Dashlane took that feature away from ios users too. Either that or it was never present. Either answer isn’t acceptable. Because knowing how safe your passwords are isn’t a superfluous luxury for mobile users. This shouldn’t be a privilege only those people using computers are granted. Can you tell that I’m getting angrier as I write this?

I also used to be able to find out a password that Dashlane assigned to something even if I forgot to have Dashlane save it…or more likely…Dashlane forgot to save it. Because there have been frequent instances of using Dashlane to save a password…but then going to check it afterwards only to discover that Dashlane didn’t actually save it…the password field is blank! Sadly, this feature is no longer available for ios users. If that happens now…and believe me it does more often than I’d like…oftentimes it’s because Dashlane doesn’t ask me at the right time to save passwords…the apps timing is off. So now I have to contact the company in question and try to go through the lost password procedure that they have in place.

Dashlane simply doesn’t work very well for Apple mobile users anymore, which is really sad because originally that’s who Dashlane was created for. Does it work well for desktop and laptop users? Maybe…I don’t know because I don’t use them. 3 years ago Dashlane was seen as the Cadillac of Password Managers…which is how they justified their very inflated annual charge. Today I suspect I could find as much utility as Dashlane provides me for free from many other sources. Apple’s key chain is one of many.

Conclusion

In conclusion lets tally up here all of the things that iPad and iPhone users have lost over time due to their keeping Dashlane as their password manager provider:

• Dashlane took away generating and storing payment receipts for me.

• Dashlane took away all functionality from their in-app web browser.

• Dashlane took away password history and along with it my ability to find a password when Dashlane messes up.

• Dashlane quit warning me when Accounts I used were breached!

• Dashlane quit telling me when my passwords were compromised

• Dashlane took away the ability to easily change a password.

One additional problem the ios app has had since day one which has never been addressed or fixed is this. The ios app has this annoying propensity to always revert to obscure passwords which include primarily symbols. These kinds of passwords aren’t permitted by most websites and often there’s no way to tweak Dashlane settings so I’m forced to manually create passwords which kind of defeats the purpose.

My overall take on Dashlane in 2017 is that unless you have a computer that you use frequently and want to manage your Dashlane account and data using that…it’s just not a very useful tool for ios mobile users anymore. And it may not even be a great tool for computer users…I don’t know for sure. Some of the reviews I read would seem to indicate that might be the case though. Furthermore, the argument could be made that continuing to use Dashlane is actually harming me more than helping. Because it’s quite possible that LastPass, 1Password, or another password manager service might be making me aware of breaches and data security events that Dashlane used to.

It’s become increasingly evident to me that the world desperately needs the password manager that Dashlane originally set out to create. I don’t know if that will ever happen…or maybe it has and I’m just unaware? But the thought crossed my mind that it’s likely there are disgruntled Dashlane employees who are also unhappy with the different direction their company took…and how cool it would be if one, or some of them were to break away and build what was once begun with such promise.

Only time will tell. In the meantime I have some serious research ahead of me as my initial quick search revealed that none of the present password manager alternatives seem to offer stellar solutions. In fact each one sounds worse than the next. Also my annual subscription with Dashlane doesn’t end until September 2018 leading me to fully appreciate the words of one LastPass ios app reviewer (Steve the unhappy Gmail user) who said he was staying with LastPass because…‘the devil you know is better than the one you don’t!’ A very insightful comment given the situation :-)

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Posted in Dashlane, Dashlane's New Password Changer, Password Managers, Password Security, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create a PNG Image on an ios Device Using Pixelmator

Pixelmator for ios $1.99

Introduction

Pixelmator for ios has slowly grown to become my ‘go to’ app for almost all of the screenshot and graphic design work I do on iPads. Some of the aspects I like most about using Pixelmator on iPads include the ‘in camera roll‘ editing features (I use sharpening the most after reducing image sizes with the Big Photo app or Pixelmator itself) and the ability to easily find past projects I’ve worked on within their in-app file manager.

I also love that when I’m sometimes confronted with a new task that I’ve not performed frequently in the past, I can usually figure out a way to get it done using Pixelmator.

When I purchased Pixelmator the app it cost $4.99. It had just been launched following Apple’s 2014 Live Keynote event which featured the brand new app. I didn’t use it a lot at first because in my opinion it had a fairly high learning curve. But as time went on and I edited more and more images I discovered that the learning curve just seemed complicated and it really wasn’t. Today, new users can get the app for just $1.99 which seems like a bargain to me because of the depth and power of its features. There’s been talk of a much improved Pixelmator for iPad in the works currently since the newest Mac Pro version was just released on November 29th.

Creating a PNG Image Using Pixelmator

Today I needed to create PNG images and once again was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could do this quickly and easily in Pixelmator. But the process was a little tricky to figure out which is why I decided to write this very short post.

Saving an Image in Pixelmator the Regular Way

The typical way to save an image in Pixelmator is to use one of either two options:

  • Save to Photos – will save any modifications I made to the original photo
  • Copy to Photos – will leave the original photo untouched and create a new copy of the modified image

Saving an Image While Also Converting it to a PNG

The method used to create a PNG is to save the photo or image in the PNG format. To do this tap on the share extension icon and choose ‘Send a Copy.’ You’ll be asked to select an image format…choose PNG. After you’ve tapped on PNG, a lot of different options will be presented for you to save the image such as to another app, to Air Drop it or to simply save it to the camera roll. This is the option I used.

Example of the Steps

Below is an example of the steps from start to finish using an existing JPEG image in the camera roll of the ios Photo’s app.


Step 1 Select an image and copy it.

Select an image from an album or the camera roll.Copy the photo bu tapping on Copy.

Step 2 Open Pixelmator, in the upper left corner Tap on + and then Create Image

Open the copied image in Pixelmator.

Step 3 Tap on the Share Icon and then Send a Copy

Step 4 Select PNG then Tap on Save Image

Tap on Send a Copy, PNG and Save

 


Check to See if the New Image is in the PNG Format

I use 2 apps a lot for checking image sizes and resolutions and one of them or for also reducing (or enlarging) images. The two apps in question are ViewExif and Big Photo.

The original JPEG image.

Now converted to a PNG image.

ViewExif $.99

by Skyjos Co., Ltd.

ViewExif ios App $.99

I spent much too much time trying to find a simple app that would provide me with accurate data regarding image size and resolution. Many apps purport to do that but few actually do it accurately. While I think this app probably does more, that’s all that I use if for. Since I found it I’ve been thrilled with how quickly I can now obtain the needed information for either 1 or many photos at the same time right within the Apple Photos app.

Big Photo $2.99

by Zynsoft Inc.

Big Photo ios App $2.99

Big Photo is a pretty powerful app too which also explains its higher price tag of $2.99. While I can’t say that I use it much for its intended purpose, which is it’s designed to allow working with very large image files and also to enable enlarging images without distortion. I primarily use it for reducing image sizes which works great for me because I can use it right from within the camera roll.

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Posted in Apple apps, ios apps, iPad Tips, iPhone Tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Subscribe to vsatips for Email Updates| I Updated My Tablets Page

Introduction

Recently I received a comment from a reader asking me how to subscribe to receive email updates when I post something new. That wasn’t the first time a reader was frustrated by this. I realize that there’s so much information on any one of my posts or pages that it might be hard to find this information. So I decided to write a quick set of instructions showing you how.

How to Subscribe by Email

At the top right corner of each webpage, post or article…it doesn’t matter which, because it should always be the same…right above my (very long) side menu, you’ll see something resembling the screenshot below:

All you need to do is click on the Follow button and a little box should appear asking you to enter your email address.

After you’re done with that you should see a confirmation message like the one in the screenshot below.

What Subscribers Will Receive

vsatips contains 2 types of content. 99% of the things at my site are Posts…which contain my most recent news, tips, user guides or reviews…etc. Pretty much everything I write is done in the Post format. When readers subscribe to receive updates, they receive an email each time I write a new post. The entire post will be included in the email…saving you the time of having to tap or click on a link and then being taken to my site.  This also saves you time from having to check back periodically for new content.

One Negative Aspect for Subscribers

But there is one caveat. It’s sort-of a personal quirk of mine. For a very long time after I began this site I never knew how to get the dashboard we use for writing to proofread my work before publishing it. The only way I knew to trigger the proofreading utility was to first publish my work. Then, immediately after it was published the proofreader would be auto-triggered, showing me typos and errors I’d made. While this was frustrating, it was something I just got used to with time. So, immediately after publishing I’d complete my final corrections. Of course, many iterations of using my own proofreading techniques preceded this…but despite all my efforts in that regard there were always several more errors I’d missed.

That would be OK if subscribers just received a link to that new post…and that’s what I always believed happened.

Then, one day I accidentally subscribed to my own site. I didn’t even know that this was possible. I’d always assumed it wouldn’t let me…but it did. So when I submitted a new publication a few days later I was pretty shocked to see that I received the entire article in an email. Even more shocking was the typo I saw in that post’s Title. For whatever reason…a lot of the typos that seem to remain longer, avoiding detection, are ones that occur right at the beginning. I’m not sure why that is. But maybe it’s because I found out that one of the best ways to proofread something is to hear it read out loud to me. I use Instapaper for this. So, maybe when I start the screen reader I’m a little preoccupied and I don’t really settle into the whole process for a few sentences? That’s the only thing I can think of.

But when Subscribers see my new posts and they consistently have errors in the first few sentences or worse, in the title, which the proofreader skips entirely…it can’t help but leave a negative impression. So, rather than think negatively of me…I thought that by my describing why that occurs, that would be preferable. Also, I want everyone to know that if typos and errors are really annoying to you, (because they are to me,)  if you just click on the link in the email…then you’ll be taken to the actual post which will be all fixed up…because the fixing step happens immediately after it’s published! Kind of a dumb system right?

In fairness to WordPress I just recently learned that there is a way to trigger the proofreading utility earlier…it’s just not intuitive and my requests for that information had gone unanswered. So, now that I know about it I do try to use it. But I forget a lot of times because I’m sort of stuck in my old routine :-/

The 2nd Kind of Content at vsatips | Pages

In addition to Posts, which readers can subscribe to, a second type of content found at vsatips are Pages…which is really short for Webpages.  For all practical purposes posts appear to readers to look exactly like pages do. And they really are from all I can tell. But posts are in a format that’s internally different at WordPress. It’s one that allows them to be sent out as email updates to subscribers. Whereas true pages are really intended to be more static, therefore never-changing. I’ve primarily used pages as navigational tools for grouping categories of information together so that they can be included in menus with similar content. But, in some cases pages also have ended up becoming post-like…or appearing to be more like articles that impart helpful information.

What usually happened in those instances is that a page began as a navigational tool but I added some information to it too. Overtime I may have added more information until it grew long enough to be considered a post as well. But Subscribers will never receive an update about new information that appears in pages…or in posts either for that matter. So if I update something Readers have no way of knowing that. This realization really just came to me as I’m writing this. And it presents a whole different problem that I need to address too.

Why newly published pages cannot be sent out to Subscribers, I’m not really sure of. But that’s just the way WordPress works. So, in the rare case that a page ends up becoming a resource of some kind I occasionally may write a post about it just to alert readers that this new information exists. Because posts are the only tool I have to notify readers of new content. So, that’s exactly why I’ve included the following section on the newly updated Tablets page.

How to Find the Best Tablets | A Resource Page with Links to Lots of Great Publications

That’s exactly what occurred recently with my Tablets page. I began adding various categories of resource links and periodically updated those. While in the process of doing that this year…I completely upgraded my Tablet page with almost all new information yesterday. So if you, or anyone you know is in the market to buy a new Tablet this fall or as a Christmas present…the articles I’ve linked to on my new Tablets Page might prove to be really useful. Here’s a link to that Page and a screenshot of it below.

Posted in About me, Email subscribers, Tablets | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to See New Subscribers to Your Channel on ios YouTube App | 2017

YouTube & Creator Studio icons

Introduction

Finding out who subscribes to your YouTube channel when you’re using an ios device is a somewhat tricky endeavor. I  know because I was frustrated myself trying to accomplish this. When I finally figured out a solution I wrote a post about how to do it. When I published that post, that alone almost doubled the number of reader’s who visit my site in a days time.

Today, by chance I discovered an easy way to see who your new subscribers are using the ios YouTube app. I thought others would like to know where to find this information as well. If you kept a list of your subscribers using the method described in my earlier post, you can just update it occasionally by adding the new subscriber names you’ll find using this newer method.

The Steps

Step 1

Open the YouTube App

Step 2

When you first open the app you’ll see ‘Recommendations‘ which includes a combination of new content from channels you subscribe to as well as YouTube’s recommendations for new content on topics you may have viewed in the past.

Step 3

Make sure you’re signed into your Google account for the YouTube channel you’re interested in seeing the new subscribers for. To check your Google account you should see your profile picture in the upper right hand corner. If you tap on it, the view shown in the screenshot below will display and you can change accounts by tapping on ‘Switch Account.’

Step 4

Close that view by tapping on the X and look for ‘Activity‘ on the bottom menu on the ‘Recommendations‘ screen and tap on it.

The next screen display will show you any recent activity for your account and YouTube channel. If you’ve had any new subscribers recently they will appear here…refer to the screenshot below.

That’s all there is to it!

Read My Other Articles About Managing Your YouTube Channel Using an ios Device

How to See All Your YouTube Channel Subscribers

How to Manage Your YouTube Channel Comments Using Creator Studio for ios

2016 Was the 10 Year Anniversary of Google’s Historic Acquisition of YouTube

Introduction to the New Creator Studio App for Mobile Users in 2015

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Posted in YouTube Channel, YouTube ios | Tagged , | Leave a comment