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Sponsored App Review: Blur

February 23, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Blur is an Android app that wants to help users protect their privacy online, while also making it easier for users to log into their favorite websites as well as remember their card details while shopping online. Blur not only helps to manage and generate passwords for all of your favorite websites and services, but also helps to mask card details online and even ensure that a merchant never sees your card details, maximizing privacy and security. With simple step-by-step processes included as well as cross-platform support to make Blur available on your phone, PC or tablet this could be the password manager – and then some – that you’ve been looking for. Let’s take a closer look and see what it’s all about.

Users will need to download Blur from the Play Store for Android, but if they plan on using it elsewhere as well, they can take a look at Abine’s website. First of all, users will need to create a free account to use Blur.

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Users unsure of what Blur has to offer can go ahead and take a quick product tour if they want to, which handily highlights many of Blur’s key features.

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Essentially, Blur is an Android app – as well as service for every other platform out there – that allows users to keep their passwords and login information secure on their device. There are also some online shopping features – more on those later – but for now let’s take a look at setting up a website login.

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Everything here is pretty straightforward, but I found that users needed to enter the exact login URL for a site for it to work, but this might have been just my experience. Over time, users will have a neat little collection of logins, and users can just click on one of these to take them to the website and have them login.

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Blur fills in these password forms by using Android’s accessibility feature and an overlay. These will need to be turned on in the settings, but Blur does a great job of explaining this and getting users up to speed.

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In practice, this works pretty well. The overlays aren’t all that good-looking, but they do work inside of the Chrome browser on Android as well as inside of dedicated mobile apps, like Amazon, Facebook and here, Twitter:

Blur Login

Speaking of accounts, Blur can even be used to set up passwords that are strong and hard to crack. Users have a choice from three strengths and the app even goes ahead and makes an entry in the accounts part of the app to help users out.

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To access accounts and more, users can take a look at the main menu, and all the sections are easily found from there.

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Another key feature of Blur is the ability to keep track of and secure card details for credit and debit cards, similar to the way it manages online accounts.

Blur Credit Cards

This allows Blur to fill in credit card details just like website information.

Blur Credit Card autofill

Credit cards can be masked with Blur, essentially allowing users to pay for something without actually sending them the card details. This means that Abine (the company behind Blur) will end up paying the bill, putting a charge on your account as Abine, instead of Best Buy, for instance.

Credit Card Masked

This is a premium feature however, which seems to be costly, but new users will get a discount for the first 24 hours of their membership.

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Blur certainly brings a lot to the table, there’s no getting around that, but I can’t help but wonder whether or not the Android app needs more polish. In its appearance it comes across as a much older app, especially when compared to other Material Design-touting password managers.

Of course, Blur is much more than just a password manager, and that really shows. For me, I prefer not to trust my sensitive info to anyone or anything including 256-bit AES encrypted password managers like Blur, but there’s more to it than that. I could use Blur to mask my identity for instance, something I wouldn’t get with other managers. I can mask my real phone number, perfect for when ringing a relatively-unknown business or simply someone you don’t want to be able to get back in contact with you.

The real killer-app of Blur however, is the ability to mask your credit card information. This is invaluable for those that might be shopping overseas or perhaps purchasing online from a used dealer or something similar. This makes it much safer to shop online, and it’s well worth spending the extra money on a premium subscription, especially if you’ve been stung before.

Ratings

  • Speed (3.5/5) – The app itself runs just fine, but getting accounts and such setup can take a little longer than it really ought to.
  • Features (5/5) – No doubt about it, Blur ticks all the right boxes and then some where privacy protection is concerned. More than just a password manager, Blur can be used to keep all sorts of personal information safe online and ultimately save you stress as well as more than a little money.
  • Theme (3.5/5) – I’m not sure why, but the Blur app feels a little dated on Android, and reminds me of something developed for Android quite some time ago.
  • Overall (4/5) – Despite some dated looks, Blur has a whole lot to offer, especially if you’re looking for more than just another password manager and their customer service is excellent, too.

Pros

  • Uses 256-bit AES Encryption to ensure passwords and card information is kept secure without any leaks or breaches.
  • Overlay feature makes it secure and simple to fill in passwords and card information online.
  • Premium masking feature helps keep phone numbers, card details and more secure from the third-party, making it safer to buy online from new or uncertain places.
  • Doesn’t just work on your Android phone, works across Google Chrome, Firefox and even on iOS as well, keeping you safe everywhere you are.

Cons

  • Android app could do with a lick of paint and a modern refresh overall.
  • Having “Abine” appear on statements when using masked cards might make it hard for some to keep track of their spending.

Overall, Blur is a great app that has a lot going for it, and it’s clear this is something a lot of people will find a lot of value in. Being able to securely store and fill in passwords within a web browser as well as the Android app for a certain service and so on is excellent and there’s a lot more on offer than just that. Masking card information online makes it safer than ever to shop online and will cut down on account fraud and so on. Similarly, the ability to mask a phone number will give users more confidence to complain or call numbers they don’t want to hear from again.

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