Here’s the problem: people don’t like passwords much. In fact, they hate them. Having to remember passwords for every stupid website is tedious, plus having to remember all those passwords for your job. But with the era of mobile phones you wave at the checkout counter to pay your shopping bill, the need to secure your little sidekick is more urgent than ever.
Beyond that, there is the trouble of setting a password for a device and then forgetting it. If you forget your password at work, a bored and modestly irritated tech support guy can usually be torn away from his Angry Birds game long enough to reset it. If you forget the password of your favourite website, they all have means of resetting passwords via email.
But a password set on your mobile phone doesn’t have any means of resetting. That makes setting a phone password a bit dangerous, and as a result, most people don’t bother to do anything of the kind.
Apple’s solution is basically the idea of a charging station or other commonly-used accessory that holds a password recovery system embedded on it. A mobile device that is stolen in the field without this password reset system would be effectively disabled.
There’s a lot of questions surrounding this type of system. Like: what happens if you lose or damage the charging station? And do people really want to go back to buying expensive charging stations when we’ve only just entered the world of plug type standards? Finally, the article makes the point that passwords are a big hassle. Agreed. But what about adding another device to your life – one that requires its own configuration at the time of purchase – makes handling passwords any easier or more likely?