Kee Vault 2 coming soon

I’m pleased to announce that a new version of Kee Vault is being created, starting with a lot of improvements for users of Android devices.

Later this year we’ll launch the new app on official app stores like Google Play and Amazon but all current subscribers can get early access using the instructions below!

We’re developing a fresh new look, with improved viewing and editing of your password entries. The new version will also support two highly requested features: Autofill into other apps / websites and fingerprint authentication for faster access to your private data.

The new version is almost ready for official release and it’s already been well tested but we would like to know if it works correctly on your particular model of smartphone and pick up on any rare problems that we’re yet to come across. You can find more details about upcoming features and known issues below so please do read this entire topic if you come across any potential problems and/or would like to provide feedback.

Installation instructions

Requirements

  1. Because we are not ready to officially launch yet, you’ll need to follow the steps below to install the app - just searching on Google Play or your preferred app store will not work.
  2. You need a Google account, such as the one you use to access Google Play on your Android device.
  3. Only reasonably modern Android phones are secure enough to run Kee Vault. The oldest version of Android we intend to support is 9. Although some users of Android 8 may find that some features in this beta work correctly, we’re unlikely to officially support that version when we launch later in the year (Google were due to cease security patch support for this version in April 2021 so a phone upgrade should be on your short-term radar already).

Step by step

  1. Join the pre-release testing group by clicking one of these two links:
  2. Then simply follow Google’s instructions to become a tester and install the app.
  3. Once installed to your Android device, you can run the app and sign-in using your existing Kee Vault email address and password. If you are not yet a paying Kee Vault supporter, you can sign up for the free trial using the current version of Kee Vault available at https://keevault.pm

Roadmap and known issues

Short-term plans during the beta testing period

We’ll address these known limitations (which you can do using version 1 in the mean-time):

  1. No access to binaries/attachments yet.
  2. OTPs can’t be created or edited.
  3. Only a basic “revert to previous version” history feature is available - detailed view of actual history and reversion to a specific item will be possible later.

Future development ideas

  • Upgrade existing web version (Kee Vault v1.0) with a suitable variant of version 2.0
  • Release a version specifically for iOS devices (probably supporting autofill and biometrics)
  • Make a number of the improvements outlined in tasks below

What would you like us to prioritise? Let us know in this feedback topic.

New features we want to implement in rough priority order

  • Autofill improvements for Android 11+, including saving new or updated entries during an autofill operation
  • Background data sync - will allow us to:
    • speed up opening the app in some situations
    • ensure that changes you make via autofill interactions or while offline can be synchronised with your other Kee Vault devices without you needing to manually open the app
    • ensure that your autofill requests from other apps present the latest data that you recently changed on other devices
  • Autofill performance improvements - we suspect that there are faster ways for us to generate a response to other apps / websites, at least on some devices.

Known issues we will address if possible

  • Reverting to an old version of an entry sends you back to the list of entries. We can’t easily see how to return to the entry editing view but would like to behave in that way. Failing that, we can try to ensure that the affected entry is at least clearly visible in the entry list (it may even have been removed from the list of matched entries as a result of the change to the old history data).
  • If you want to cancel the biometric authentication step at startup so you can sign in as a different Kee Vault user, you have to do so twice.

Known issues we won’t address

Kee Vault v1 contains some bugs that cause changes to password generator preset configurations to fail to be reflected in the Kee Vault v2 user interface until you next lock and unlock the vault. Modifying the presets works though, and perhaps may workaround the bug until we are able to release a web variant of Kee Vault 2.

Features not implemented from Kee Vault 1

If sufficient demand from subscribers:

  • Entry expiry dates (use cases need to be established first)

Unlikely to be implemented, or at least in a very limited form:

  • Placeholders (would probably only be supported for one-time import from KDBX files)

No plans to implement:

  • Entry priority overrides
  • Home group

Other Kee developments

While working on Kee Vault 2, we’re continuing to ensure the security of the Kee desktop browser extension, Kee Vault 1 and the KeePassRPC plugin. Kee Vault version 1 has undergone an extensive multi-year beta testing period with no serious issues coming to light so we will remove references to the beta nature of that version shortly.

Development on the Kee desktop browser extension has been paused while we await the outcome of ongoing upheaval to all desktop browser extensions. Specifically, Google Chrome’s “Manifest V3” threatens changes which may have a significant impact on the future of desktop password management extensions. It’s too early to say exactly what the impact on Kee will be, nor whether the impact will be cross-browser (maybe Firefox will be in a different situation).

At the moment, we could be faced with anything from minimal and fairly invisible tasks to a complete rewrite of over 10 years worth of programming code, or even a complete inability to offer a viable alternative to a browser’s bundled password management service. I am optimistic that we’ll be able to make some great improvements to the extension next year but we have to be pragmatic about where we invest our limited time for the rest of this year. Unless anything notable changes in the meantime, I plan to reassess the situation at the end of 2021.

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