1Password: The Best Password Manager Just Got Better

Passwords are a giant pain in the behind (pardon my language). First and foremost, passwords need need to be secure, and in order for them to be secure they have to be a long string of letters (random mix of uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols (for good measure). When you create a strong password they’re nearly impossible to remember, the theory being that if you can’t remember it how will anyone trying to hack your account crack the barrage of characters you created.

So, when you create these 15+ character passwords, how are you to keep track of them? There are certainly a number of options available (I know some opt for a good old-fashioned spreadsheet), but if you want a secure, user friendly experience 1Password has been to the go-to choice for quite some time. In December 2012, AgileBit released version 4 of 1Password, which includes an impressive list of new features. Hit the jump to take a peek at what the new 1Password has to offer.

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Beautiful & Functional

For those of you updating from the previous version of 1Password, the first thing you’ll notice in version 4 is the all-new design. Compared to other password management iOS apps (e.g. mSecure, LastPass, SecureSafe) 1Password has always featured a more pleasant design, but the new interface puts the app on a whole new level. The splash screen still features the iconic lock design, but the app as a whole has ditched the skeuomorphic vault design in favor of simple backgrounds, and textured headers and navigation bars.

Beautiful and simple are very accurate words to describe 1Password's new design.

Beautiful and simple are very accurate words to describe 1Password’s new design.

The side navigation bar has received a fairly substantial overhaul, folding many of the previous options (Logins, Accounts, Notes, Software, Wallet) into a new Categories section. Additionally, two new sections have been added — Favorites and Folders. Favorites, as the name implies, is a feature that allows you to quickly access your most commonly used logins, notes, cards, etc. If you don’t fancy scrolling through a huge list of logins, Folders is a great feature that allows you to sort your items in the manner of your choosing.

To add an item to your favorites, tap the + button in the Favorites section (or tap the star icon in the item’s details view).

To add an item to your favorites, tap the + button in the Favorites section (or tap the star icon in the item’s details view).

Another nifty feature that you can utilize in the Categories section is Global Search. When you select a category (e.g. Logins, Secure Notes) a search bar is displayed at the top of the list. As you begin typing, the results will autocomplete. To make the most of this feature, I found it best to use it in the All Items category, which will display results from every item you’ve entered into 1Password.

Easily search through all your items.

Easily search through all your items.

A Better Browser

One area of 1Password that’s also improved greatly is the in-app browser. Those familiar with the previous browser know it offered very little for users; luckily, the new browser brings some much needed features including tabbed browsing, a URL omnibar (good for entering a direct address or search queries) and form filling options (easily enter login, credit card or personal information while using the browser).

The new browser makes it quite simple to enter your login, credit card or personal information.

The new browser makes it quite simple to enter your login, credit card or personal information.

The browser is certainly serviceable, but like all other non-Safari browsers it falls prey to the missing Nitro JavaScript Engine. Another strike going against the browser is that it’s simply not convenient to use for everyday browsing, mainly because you have to log into the app for nearly each browsing session. What’s even more intriguing is the lack of creating a new login entry while signing-up for a new account on websites. It would seem like a no-brainer that I could go to a site, begin the process of creating an account and have the option of generating a new password without having to exit the browser.

I'd love the option to create a new login and password while using the browser.

I’d love the option to create a new login and password while using the browser.

For those of you that like to utilize bookmarklets with Safari, I have some good news. You can easily create a Safari-to-1Password bookmarklet (using the javascript provided below), which when used, will instantly switch from Safari to 1Password and load the webpage in 1Password’s browser (you may need to login to 1Password if your previous session has expired). It’s a really nice option if you don’t want to copy and paste credentials into Safari, as long as you don’t mind using another browser.

javascript:window.location.href='op'+window.location.href

The Bottom Line

To call version 4 of 1Password an improvement is putting it mildly. While it may be shallow of me to put so much stock in an app’s, the new interface simply sells the whole experience. To me, there’s simply nothing more enjoyable as an iPad user as when an app development team creates the perfect blend of design and functionality. Dollars to donuts, version 4 of 1Password could easily be the poster child of great design and great functionality.

In addition to the redesign, the list of some really great additions in form of Favorites and Folders, an approved web browser, global search, action bar (which allows you to swipe across an item to copy, favorite, open in the browser or delete), and iCloud sync (Dropbox sync is still available), all adds up to a truly great app. Even better, a purchase is good towards a universal version of the app (making it available on all your iOS devices for one low cost).

If you’re serious about changing your password habits, I simply cannot recommend 1Password enough. Like most people, I too fell prey to using a handful of the same passwords for all of my accounts. Practicing such unsafe habits it bad enough, but the real problem I always had was forgetting passwords for sites I rarely visited. After trying multiple login attempts, I’d often succumb to accessing the Forget My Password feature, bringing about a truly inconvenient experience. Since I began using 1Password, such issues have never reared their ugly head again.


Summary

Safely store your passwords and other credentials.

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  • http://agilebits.com David Chartier

    Hi Jesse! Thanks so much for the review, though I’d like to catch one detail. It looks like you list our sale price, but the regular price for what is now the universal version is $17.99. Thanks!

    • http://www.whippsindustries.com Kevin Whipps

      Thanks for the catch, I fixed it to reflect the correct price. Thanks again!

  • Bill F

    Would be interesting to read your take on how this product compares to similar password managers such as Roboform.

  • steve

    can this app lock my photos with a password- ta

    • http://www.recapps.net Jesse Virgil

      1Password is unable to interact with the Photos app in such a manner (no third-party app can). The app is meant to keep things like login passwords, email account info, bank account info, credit card numbers, and Wi-Fi passwords (just to know a few) safely tucked away to be easily accessed when needed.

      My apologies for the delay in reply. Writer’s aren’t notified when comments are posted, so it’s best to hit us up via our preferred contact information (found by clicking the writer’s name at the top of the page) when it’s been a few months since the review has been posted.

      Thanks for commenting and I hope this answers your question!

  • steve

    Does one payment of $18,99 buy me the app for my iphone , ipad and mac i.e. all my devices..
    Can i access teh passwrds from the icloud off a pc ?

    • http://www.recapps.net Jesse Virgil

      Hi Steve. You may have already found the answer to these questions, but wanted to reply none-the-less. The $18.99 price gets you 1Password for iOS (iPad and iPhone). If you wish to use 1Password for OS X, you’ll have to purchase it separately (currently $49.99 in the Mac App Store).

      As for accessing your passwords on PC, it’s not doable via iCloud. However, if you enable Dropbox syncing, which is my preferred method, you can open an HTML file saved within Dropbox that allows you to access all of your saved passwords in any broswer. Here’s a link to learn more:

      http://help.agilebits.com/1Password3/1passwordanywhere.html

  • Neal Pollon

    Does 1Password allow you to exit the application for short periods without having to log back on evertime you switch?

    • iGARET

      Yes. And if you want it to auto-lock without making you type in your master password, you can set a 4 digit pin number that’s required to switch back to the app.

  • BerryLee

    I use Intuitive Password, it’s a good cloud-based password manger too!

  • Pingback: 1Password for iOS [App Review Summary]

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