So as many of you know 1Password 4 for iOS is out in iTunes. They can’t do real upgrades with the app store they are simply providing a new app. They are however doing upgrade pricing so for the next week or so at $7.99. It seemed a little steep to me but now that I did the upgrade I’m quite glad I did. Two of the new features are killer.
First off they completely fixed up the browser component. Since iOS Safari doesn’t allow plugins there wasn’t a way to autofill web pages with your 1Password info. In 1Password 3 there was a browser within the app, but it never really worked that well. That is it wasn’t very fluid. The new one is very functional with a very nice icon bar on the bottom. Click on the key icon and you can autofill the website data. Like the plugin for OSX Safari you can select any set of passwords connected with that domain.
This is nice for banks which often have multiple pages of data you have to enter. Since I often have to reuse those extra passwords in other parts of my banking site it’s nice to have it broken out from the main login passwords. It’s now very easy to do this and I feel like I can for the first time access my online banking purely via 1Password.1
An other fantastic new feature is a really workable Favorites tab. You can favorite anything: logins, secure notes, and more. This means you no longer have to scroll through a long list of items to get the ones you need. Since I use 1Password for a lot of banking this means I can quickly get my account information to fill out deposit slips.
One thing I was worried about was how having a completely new app would handle the upgrade. I was storing my 1Password data in Dropbox and the new version found and connected to it automatically. I assume this was because I was running the Dropbox app on my phone, although I don’t know the Dropbox API so maybe they did this in some other fashion. The only hiccup was with my master password. I use a different master password on my phone and Mac for a little extra security. For some reason during the upgrade the password for my phone was changed to my Mac’s 1Password password. Other than that hiccup everything went great.
The biggest new feature is iCloud support. I’ve not tested this just because with some apps I found iCloud unexpectedly unreliable. (Especially with Downcast syncing) Also I sync 1Password between my work laptop and my home computer. My home computer though is a very old 1st gen 17″ Intel iMac which can only run Snow Leopard. So no iCloud syncing for me.
There’s also much better search that searches globally across all your entries. That’s very nice when looking for a note. The app now supports folders from the 1Password OSX version. I’ve never used folders yet so this isn’t a big deal for me. However it finally displays attachments to secure note. I’ve scanned in a lot of things like credit cards, tax forms, and other important files so this is quite nice.
As before you can copy and paste usernames and passwords for use in other applications. And, as before, you can set 1Password to clear the clipboard after 90 seconds. That’s really nice so you don’t accidentally leave your password on the clipboard where someone else can find it.
While I have 1Password on my iPad I don’t use it that often. Primarily just to get login information for various apps that access web services. (I’m forever looking up my Twitter account for apps that authorize via Twitter for instance) On my phone though I use it constantly — primarily for secure notes I always want to have with me but that I wouldn’t want others to see if they stole my phone.
All in all it’s a surprisingly solid upgrade. Well worth the $8 for the upgrade if you use 1Password a lot. If you use it more casually it’s harder to say. To me the improved browser alone is worth the upgrade. I never used it before whereas now I’ll be using it a lot. You’ll have to decide.
About the only problem people have found with 1Password is that the account names are stored in clear-text in the main data file even though all the usernames and passwords are encrypted. To me that’s just not useful information. Who cares if someone knows what bank I use? They can get that numerous other ways. However for some people that’s a big deal.
- My bank had an iOS app but it really sucked and especially didn’t work well with corporate accounts managing multiple separate bank accounts and moving money between them. ↩