Windows PCs: 1Password updated to firm’s “1Passwordiest”

I have to say, 1Password 4 for Windows has been our 1Passwordiest yet. You’ve given us a ton of great feedback, so we’re back with our first big, free update.

To put it simply, you get more control over some of 1Password’s little details that make a big difference…

1Password 4.1 for Windows puts more control at your fingertips – David Chartier, Agile Blog (23 October 2014)

Read the full piece and links to get 1Password for Windows.

How to fix problems updating 1Password (yet again)

I enthuse about 1Password all the time and there genuinely isn’t a day and possibly not even a couple of hours that don’t see me using it. But allow me this one grumble because it’s infuriating: there simply is never a 1Password update that works the way it should.

Previously I’ve written about how I’ve lost passwords because of 1Password bugs: an update changed a setting and makers Agile Bits didn’t mention it until I complained. Previously I’ve not written about the teeth-pulling that went on using 1Password 4’s automatic updater from version 3 that was so automatic you couldn’t do it manually and yet you really wanted to because it wasn’t updating automatically. I didn’t write about that because we weren’t here: that was pre-The Blank Screen.

Now is that 1Password will prompt you for a free update to version 5 and it will give you a detailed software update screen that tells you what extra goodies you’re getting. But when it fails to update, you have to go hunting through the Agile Bits support page until you find a bit that says yeah, that can be a problem, you need to re-download the application before the updater can work.

Even then, even now, my Mac has just popped up a 1Password warning. I downloaded the application and was going to move it to my Applications folder to overwrite the old one but didn’t get a chance. It launched itself and gave me a warning that it was launching from my Downloads folder, did I surely not want to move it to Applications? Why yes, I did. It moved itself, which is nice, but it didn’t replace the old one.

So right now I have a fairly plaintive error message saying “Please make sure you have only one copy of 1Password on your Mac.”

Tomorrow I will love 1Password again. But today and every day that there is a big update, I’m close to wishing I please had no copies of 1Password on my Mac.

New iOS keyboards: TextExpander in use

Android users have long, long had the option to replace whatever the standard onscreen keyboard is with anything else they like. Keyboards that are in some way better, if not for everyone then at least for some. That’s cool. The same idea has now come to iOS for iPhones and iPads and that’s cool too.

I just didn’t care. I type fine on the Apple one. Yet if the first thing I bought for iOS 8 was OmniFocus 2 for iPad, the second was the TextExpander keyboard. Switch that on and whatever you’re doing on your iOS device, you can instantly call up every snippet of text you use a lot or just want a lot or just always misspell.

No question: I was going to buy that TextExpander keyboard and I was never going to look at the Apple one again.


All this about using TextExpander snippets where you couldn’t before – such as Mail or any Apple app – is true.


I just don’t like it.

The TextExpander keyboard itself saves you all this time with expanding out snippets of text that I use a lot but then it loses me far more time because it is substantially harder to type on. The overall QWERTY keyboard is smaller than the regular Apple one but also each key is remarkably smaller and harder to hit.

I make far, far and three times far more mistakes typing on that TextExpander keyboard. And what you gain in its snippets you lose with the autocorrection and suggested words. There are no suggested words and ‘d like to say that there is no autocorrection but every now and again suddenly I will get a correction automatically applied.

Plus, getting this keyboard means both downloading it and setting it up. The final stage of setting it up is to tell your iPhone that yes, you want the TextExpander keyboard to have full access to your device. Fine, but that option doesn’t appear at all until you’ve been in once, set up everything else on the keyboard, come out and gone back in again.

And then regularly, even routinely, you will swap to the TextExpander keyboard and it will warn you that you haven’t set this full access up. Oh, yes, I have. Oh no, you haven’t.

I suspect that’s a a bug at Apple’s end but the fact that I get it is often is probably tied to how I don’t, afterall, stick with TextExpander’s keyboard. I swap back to it to do a particular complex snippet, then I return to Apple’s own where I can actually type.

That can only happen when you’re using the onscreen keyboard: I’m writing now on my iPad using a keyboard case and it is impossible to use the TextExpander keyboard or switch it on so that I can use my snippets.

So it’s a great idea but it has this first version bug which is probably Apple’s, it won’t or can’t use the regular autocorrection service and the keys are tiny. I think it’s also an ugly keyboard.

Which means I’m a bit disappointed. I wasn’t interested in iOS keyboards before but I am very interested now and it is a disappointment.

TextExpander’s keyboard extension comes with the latest version of the app, which costs £2.99 UK or $4.99 US.



Data loss in 1Password: check your database is syncing

Yesterday I found that 1Password had lost a login and passcode I needed. It’s been confirmed by Agile Bits and the short solution is that you need to recheck that it is syncing the way you told it to, using the service you chose.

I’d chosen Dropbox and at some point there was an upgrade to 1Password which switched that off without notice. From that point on, my iPhone wasn’t syncing to anywhere. Once that happens, it’s only a question of time. And when the 1Password for iOS 8 upgrade was crashing for me on open, I deleted the app and redownloaded it.

Maybe if I could’ve got far enough into 1Password without a crash, I might have thought to check the syncing options. But you set it once, it’s unfathomable that an upgrade would change a key setting and not notify you.

Nonetheless, that’s what happened. And since my syncing was switched off, every password I added on my iPhone was lost when I deleted the app.

This is what I deduced but here’s Agile Bits’ confirmation:

Yes, there was a version of 1Password 4 that disabled Dropbox sync for some customers and we did not have a system in place to notify customers if/when this happened. Sorry for that!

I am assuming that if you do have 1Password installed somewhere else you didn’t notice the lack of Dropbox syncing, correct? This is entirely feasible if there aren’t that many items being updated and the items being updated are only being used on the device the update was made on.

Yes, when you uninstalled 1Password for iOS the local database was deleted then. All 1Password data would have been deleted then. Again, I am sorry for this having happened.

Agile Bits support email – 20 September 2014

I’ve said before that 1Password is superbly, even astonishingly great in every single way bar upgrades. The company really falls over on upgrades: the move to iOS 8 causing so many crashes is minor compared to the alchemy one had to go through moving from 1Password 3 to 4.

But this is the first time it has ever lost passwords for me.

And I say passwords, plural, because the odds are that this is the case. There is simply no way for me to know how many other passwords I’ve lost or what they are.

I understand that there is bugger-all Agile Bits can do now but they’re wrong that there was nothing they could’ve done. They could’ve triggered a prompt for all users to check whether they had the fault, they could’ve even just publicised the fact that it had happened.

They could also have deleted their boilerplate last line in the email which reads:

Have a great weekend and please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Did I say this already? Buy 1Password right now

I definitely urged this in the latest edition of The Blank Screen email newsletter – do sign up for your free copy – and if I’ve met you on the street in the last few days I’ve undoubtedly pressed you on the issue. But I don’t think I’ve said it here and I must.

Buy 1Password for iOS now.

As in now. Please rush.

Well, you can take a little bit of time because it’s on sale and will be for at least a short while: it’s not one of those instant on, instant off sales. And as ever with things I recommend on sale, it is more than worth its full price so if you miss the discount, shrug it off.

So you know, the sale price goes thisaway: 1Password for iPhone is briefly £6.99 UK or $9.99 US (instead of £9.99 UK or $17.99 US). Check the maker’s website, though, because there are many options if you’re using more than one device: 1Password official site.

It’s a password manager – creates great passwords for you and then, this is the key part, both remembers them all and pops them into websites for you – and it’s also especially good at holding all your credit card details and, again, popping them into websites when you say Go. It’s also very cross-platform: I use it daily on Mac, iPhone and iPad but there is also a PC, Windows and Android version. They all play nicely, too, so if you’re a PC user with an iPhone or a Mac user with an Android phone, you’re fine. Possibly schizophrenic, but fine.

If you are on a PC or Android, my reason to urge you to buy 1Password is solely that it is so very good. Indispensable. I went from wondering why anyone would want such a thing to having it on my iPhone’s front screen and using it literally every day. Literally literally: there’s a thing I have to do every single day and I do it through 1Password because it’s so much quicker.


If you’re on an iOS device, there is an extra delightful urgency to all this. Buy 1Password for iPhone or iPad on sale today and you will get the next version for free. The next version will be a significant upgrade but it won’t cost existing users anything and you will be an existing user.

I am an existing user, I am a now very long-standing existing user, and I’m excited by this – I don’t use the word lightly, I actually am excited – because of what’s coming in the next version.

The next 1Password will be the first or at most among the very first apps to use Apple’s new Extensions feature that lets one app use another. I told you that I do this thing every day: it’s using a website that I have to log in to and on my iPhone, I have to remember to go to it via 1Password in order to have the password app pop my details in. If I’ve just gone there via Safari, I either nip back and forth to 1Password, copying out my secure details and pasting them in to Safari – or I quit it all and start the job again in 1Password.

From the next version and Apple’s iOS 8, I will be able to just call up 1Password right from within Safari and have it do my doings for me. If I have the new 1Password, iOS 8 and a newer iPhone than I currently have, I’ll be able to tap my thumb in order to get it to enter secure details for me.

I’d say that if I were you, I’d buy 1Password now. But if I really were you, you’d already have it.

This is how it should be: a Safari Extension I’ll use hourly

Not only will I use it hourly but I want to use it hourly now. The quick news: 1Password will use Extensions so that within Safari, you can get it to enter your username and password.

The slightly less quick news with more detail and enthusiasm… In case you haven’t come across it yet, 1Password is one of those apps that stores your passwords for you. Fine. It also creates ones like Wel6cAct9iB9Bit (that really is one it created, I just got it to do that). It creates these strong passwords and then saves them for you so that you don’t have to remember. You just have to remember the one password you need to get into 1Password. It works on iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, PC, Windows, all sorts.

The phone and tablet versions come with their own web browser too. So if I’m organised, I can go into my 1Password app, tap on the name of my bank and that browser will zoom off to their site. Goes to the site, enters my username and some of my security details, then it even presses return. Only with my bank do I stop there. With other things I log into like, it does the lot. One tap takes me to the site and then into the site. Another single tap and 1Password has entered all my credit card details for me.

Except I’m often not that organised. Very often, I will go a site in the regular iPhone Safari web browser and after a lot of fiddling like picking train times, I will reach the login or credit card screen and wish I’d remembered to do this in 1Password. Usually, I nip over to the 1Password app, copy the detail I need and go paste it into Safari. But just occasionally, I’ve moved over to 1Password and redone the whole job just to save that schlepping about.

Not any more. Behind the scenes it’s going to be using Touch ID and Safari Extensions but no matter: in future, when I’ve gone to a site in the ordinary Safari browser, I will still be able to use 1Password to enter my details.

This is how it is on the Mac and PC: wherever I am, I can whack a login detail or an over-used credit card in with a tap or two. This is how it will be on iPhones and iPads.

The company isn’t saying when it will happen but there is a limited beta test going on now and it all requires the forthcoming iOS 8. So you can bet that when the next iPhones come out around September, so will the new 1Password. No idea yet whether it will be a paid upgrade or a freebie but whichever, I’m having it. (Though it must be said, as great as 1Password is in every other way I know, upgrading to a major new version is agony.)

Here’s where you can learn more of the latest official release of 1Password and here’s a shaky video of the beta in action:

Windows sees big 1Password update

If you think that headline is contorted, it is. It was just about the best I could think of without making ‘1Password’ be the first word. I can’t begin a sentence with a number like that. Usually I will spell out the number or I will recast the whole sentence to avoid it.

There was no spelling out this time: 1Password is the name of the product I’m recommending.

Well, I’ve often – even regularly – recommended 1Password on iOS and Macs. I’ve recommended it on Android at least once. But I confess I haven’t paid any attention to the Windows version. That’s because I just assumed that if it weren’t identical to the Mac one then it was because it had some extra features I’d see on the Mac someday.

But it turns out that Mac came first. Because today, Agile Bits announced 1Password 4 for Windows.

Sorry, Windows users, I just thought you had all this already. But you do now:

After months of beta testing, a small lake’s worth of coffee, and a possibly illegal number of pizzas, 1Password 4 for Windows is here.

This is a huge release for us, as it brings many of our latest features to Windows and a cleaner, more intuitive interface. Windows users can enjoy Favorites, Multiple Vaults, Wi-Fi Sync, and Security Audit, as well as our new, free 1Password Watchtower service that warns you when a Login’s site has been compromised and helps you decide when it’s safe to update your passwords.

All together, this release includes 374 new features, improvements, and fixes spread over 85 betas. You can comb through the full beta release notes, learn more in our documentation, or check out our feature overview down below the gallery.

1Password 4 for Windows is here – David Chartier, Agile Bits blog (17 June 2014)

That gallery and more is in the original piece over on the 1Password makers’ blog.

Big new 1Password for iOS update

If you already have 1Password then the odds are that your iPhone has updated it for you. Just as it did to me, exactly as I opened the old one to take a screengrab so that you could see the difference.

“Oh,” I said as the icon changed under my finger. “Well.”

So I can't show you what it used to look like, you just need to trust me that it looks very nice now. It was fine before, I liked it before, but I like it better now. And if your phone hasn't done the update or you don't yet have 1Password, I could copy-and-paste Agile Bits' description of their changes. But I'd rather just highlight one apparently trivial one. More than apparently trivial, it is definitely trivial and yet:

For those upgrading from 1Password 3 for iOS, the import process is much improved.

My lights, it was bad before. You had to open 1Password 3, then open 1Password 4 and the later version would magically figure out you were updating. It would set you up, easy. No bother. Except it wasn't easy and it was all bother and it didn't figure out anything. I felt like an alchemist going through that upgrade and maybe it was satisfying when everything suddenly worked, but I'd rather have been satisfied an hour or two sooner.

Then even knowing what I had worked out, it took more hours to get my wife Angela Gallagher's 1Password 4 upgrade to work.

Once you're on, though, you're away. It is superb. This is the bit of the page that would get quoted in an internal Agile Bits report and quite right too: it really is superb. Once you get beyond the upgrade.

But you do, you will, and apparently it's easier now. Fingers crossed for whenever 1Password 5 comes out.

Go get the new 1Password for iOS for the first or the next time right here. And right now.

Countdown of 2013’s worst passwords

There's a new kid on the block with this year's countdown of the worst passwords you could possibly have but do. It's a first-time top ten appearance for “adobe123”.

Also breaking into the top ten with a rise of two places is “iloveyou” where it's amazing five-place jump for our number 8 password, “1234567”.

The unforgettable “111111” is up two to 7 while it's another new entry at 6 with “123456789”.

Then it's the chart's first fall with “abc123” down one to 5.

Replacing that at 4 is the classic “qwerty” which is up one spot.

Into the top three now and still steady at number 3 is “12345678”. Number 2 is a shock drop of one place for the all-time legend that is “password”.

That top ten again:

  1. adobe123
  2. iloveyou
  3. 1234567
  4. 111111
  5. 123456789
  6. abc123
  7. qwerty
  8. 12345678
  9. password

Which means that rising one place since last year, the worst password of 2013 is… “123456”.

There are a few qualifications to make about this chart countdown but the thing to take away is that all ten are equally stupid. And if you use any of them, or any like them, you must change them now if only because it is embarrassing that your best idea is the exact same one that millions of other people had too.

Fixing your passwords is more important than hearing me snark at the data so go, be gone, get yourself over to 1Password. I couldn't endorse that software any more if they paid me.

But now. Snarking.

The definition of worst is debatable, I think. This countdown comes from SplashData, and firm that of course works in password management, and it's really a ranking of the most commonly used passwords. That's not quite the same thing as the worst: “password” is surely still the one you would try first if you were going to break into something. Or “pencil” if you're hacking WOPR, obviously.

Morgan Slain, SplashData CEO:

“[An] interesting aspect of this year's list is that more short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies.”

The definition of most commonly used is also debatable: SplashData says that this year's list is heavily influenced by the troubles Adobe had when a security breach meant quite a few of its users passwords became known.

So many, in fact, that the list has to have been distorted by that group – and you can see it the top twenty which includes such gems as “photoshop” and “adobe123”.

But, seriously, 1Password. On your way.

Tips and a sale on 1Password

I picked 1Password as one of the pieces of software I am dependent on and there’s now a sale. You can get this password manager – seriously, it’s so very good – for 30% off. That’s for the Mac version only but the iOS one is also gorgeousness. With the sale, the price is $34.99 US or £24.49.

Checking that price for you, I also found that Agile Bits has a blog with a new and handy tip. My one criticism of 1Password is that I’ve somehow ended up with a lot of near duplicates or redundant old versions of logins and passwords but there is a way to fix that.