Just wondering if you can give us hints on what is in store for the 4.0 product? Is it too far off to say?
Is it too far off to say?
Certainly not, and thanks for asking. There’s two big hits:
- SQLCipher 4
- The New Sync System
SQLCipher is an open source extension to the SQLite database library that Codebook uses for encrypting your data. Version 4 is a major upgrade to SQLCipher’s security features and we want to integrate that into Codebook as soon as possible. As a critical part of the application, we need to update it on all four platforms at once, thus it will be rolling out in Codebook 4. This work is largely complete.
The New Sync System
This is the bigger, more impactful change, though in some ways it may go unseen (if all goes well!) The current system, known internally to us as Ditto, has to be replaced, as it cannot adequately support the features we want to provide our customers in Codebook going forward. The New Sync System improves upon two things in particular: security and efficiency. NSS introduces the concept of a Sync Key, a new random key used for encrypting your sync data that is separate from your master password. In terms of efficiency, NSS transmits changes in small, encrypted deltas, called shards. This makes the Sync feature so much faster than it is right now.
Of course, NSS has to support everything that Ditto currently supports in Codebook’s Sync feature, mainly multi-master, bi-directional syncing of changes for all your devices, over Dropbox, Google Drive, and Desktop WiFi. And, it has to smoothly upgrade existing cloud “remotes” (i.e. the
/Zetetic/strip.db file on a linked Dropbox account) and make sure no records or changes are left behind. There’s a lot of edge cases to consider!
I’m happy to report we are well on our way to completing this work. We’re not ready to start beta testing (we’re not quite at alpha/dog-fooding yet), more in the x-ray stage, but soon we’ll be putting out calls for new beta testers to help make sure we’ve got Sync completely nailed down for Codebook 4. Beta testing could start as soon as late April/early May (alpha testing likely to start in March; we may get there sooner, but we’re trying to be conservative in our planning and ensure a long and thorough testing period).
With this work in place we’ll be able to follow it up in a minor version to update to support image file attachments, and eventually support lots of other file types as attachments. Not only that, but the New Sync System will allow us to provide the long-sought automatic background sync feature.
So those are the two main things in Codebook 4: upgraded encryption, and a big time improvement to the speed and efficiency of the Sync feature. Our plan is to ensure Codebook 4 ships before or by July (likely no earlier than June, due to aforementioned need for a long and thorough testing phase).
You might be wondering about translations! Sorry we haven’t provided an update there, but it’s on our to-dos for Codebook 4. So many of the strings that have to be translated are currently undergoing edits and adjustments and there’s a ton of new stuff to translate, we’re holding off right now until we’re in a place where we can code freeze user facing text in CB 4 and focus on the translations.
There won’t be any new whiz-bang features, but there will be other individual improvements across the four platforms. For instance, on iOS the getting started UI and other configuration screens hint at a complete UI redesign we commissioned from Icon Factory and plan to fully implement in Codebook 5 (which with hard work and determination we hope to ship by the end of the year!)
Codebook for macOS re-works the Password Review feature so you can right-click on any password and get a quick look at any Weakness Warnings or Breaches on HaveIBeenPwned.com:
We think this is a nicer re-working of the feature, which was previously only available while editing a password, making it a pain to simply go around checking them as you like.
If you have any questions or feedback please let us know!
We’re looking for new beta testers to help us test Codebook 4 specifically, in a couple months’ time. If you’re reading this post and like the sound of helping us nail down any edge cases in our system, to help us make sure no data is left behind, please reach out soon!
Thanks for the detailed look into this new version. Exciting!
I am hoping for some day, a way to securely share a password with another CB user.