Join Christopher Breen for an in-depth discussion in this video Share passwords with iCloud Keychain, part of Mac OS X Mavericks New Features.
Mavericks offers support for a new iCloud service called iCloud Keychain. The gist is you first set up iCloud Keychain on an IOS device, your iPhone for example. For the sake of this movie, we'll assume that I've already done that. Now I move to my Mac, I choose system preferences and then I click on the iCloud preference. I'll just click on iCloud Keychain and whoops, Mavericks is asking me to change the security setting, specifically it's telling me I should really configure my Mac so that when it goes to sleep or the screensaver kicks in, I require a pass code to bring it back to life.
I'll allow that to happen by unlocking the preference and then enabling that option. Now I return to iCloud and I'll enable Keychain. I'm now prompted for my Apple ID's password. Then I'm asked to enter the four digit pass code that I created on my iPhone. When I do that, I'm then told I must wait for a SMS message to arrive on my iPhone that contains the six digit code that will finally let me use iCloud Keychain on this computer. When I receive that code, I enter, and iCloud Keychain is ready to go on this Mac.
Okay great, but what exactly does it do? Well, when I save a user name, password or enter credit card information, that information is stored in my keychain and then shared with any of my other devices that have iCloud Keychain enabled, both Macs and iOS devices. For instance, here's a list of passwords I have stored in Safari. On my iPod touch, I'll now enter the username and password for another site. I'll be asked if I'd like that information to be saved to my iCloud Keychain.
I do, and so tap the correct answer. I'll now return to my Safari passwords, and sure enough, there's an entry for the site I just added on my iPod Touch. When I next visit that site on this Mac and I'm asked to sign in, that information will be entered for me automatically. And it works the other way as well. Here on my Mac I can enter a user name and password. And when I do, I'll be asked if I'd like to add that information to my iCloud Keychain. I do, and so it is. So, in a nut shell, iCloud Keychain is a very simple way to store and share passwords among your apple gear. Convienent? Oh my yes.