Remember HTTP Password in Mobile Safari

Posted by on May 3, 2010 in Blog | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

In iPhone OS 3.0, Apple allowed Mobile Safari to save usernames and passwords in web forms. Unfortunately, Safari does not offer to do the same thing for HTTP Basic and Digest authentication. I’ve become fond of using HTTP authentication because it is very easy to set up, either in your Apache virtual host configuration or within a Rails application. There are many times that a full-fledged user database is unnecessary for a simple administration back-end.

There is a work-around, though it does mean storing your user and password in plaintext in your device’s bookmarks. HTTP allows you to supply authentication credentials as part of the URL, in the form http://username:password@example.com/.

4 Comments

  1. Björn
    March 6, 2011

    And did you find a solution for this? I’m working with a whole lot of websites that use HTTP auth..

    • Steve Madsen
      March 7, 2011

      If you mean other than the bookmark hack, no. There is no workaround. Apple needs to permit Mobile Safari to do what it can already do on the desktop.

      After I posted this hack, an update to iOS added an annoying warning before loading links with an embedded user name and password, too. This is the only solution I’m aware of, but it’s now far from perfect.

  2. gobbler
    January 12, 2012

    Hi, any new info on this topic? (ended up here while googling for help..)

    • Steve Madsen
      January 16, 2012

      There is nothing new that I’m aware of in iOS 5. Due to the warning that started last year, I’ve switched to form-based authentication in places where I’m OK with allowing Safari to remember the credentials.