After reading few articles here and here I realized it was time to put my old password ways behind me and move forward. Admittedly, like many others on the net, I have been using the same password everywhere!
After some quick trial and error with a few products on the market I settled on 1Password. There wasn’t any real scientific method here, it was just one of the first ones I found that was integrated with all of my possible devices, this being very important, as I use many different platforms such as android, mac and random computers.
I already covered one of the first thi
ngs that drew me to the product above, but let me reiterate. This product works well on almost operating systems. That being Mac, Windows, and mobile platforms. If your OS is not supported, you can always use the web based version in cooperation with a dropbox account.
Mac users can find the app via the app store, and most mobile platforms have an app of some level in their respective markets/app stores.
If you are not yet convinced that 1Password is the app for you, you can always take it for a spin for 30 days unrestricted at their website. It took me 2 trials over a 6 month period before I finally said “I do”.
1Password has a lot of additional features that I don’t really use such as secure notes, a wallet, and license store. All of these are really great features, but I don’t personally use them nor do I foresee a need either.
One final bonus is the browser integration, im happy to see that the authors have taken the time to build in multiple browser integrations to assit me in logging into the sites that I have passwords for.
None of the things listed in this section were annoying enough for me to not purchase the product, but are more things that I would like to see improved in future releases.
I use the chrome extension primarily and have found it to be a bit cumbersome to use. Being used to working with the default chrome password saving, has probably caused me to assume a certain level of integration that im just not seeing with 1password.
The first thing that I noticed is that 1password will continually ask to save my passwords over and over again, there is no way to say thin
gs like “never remember this site” in the popup. The only way around this is to put a domain in a permanent list, and thats not really easy to find. For those looking, its under the Gear icon >> Logins, then add the domain as a newline in the textbox.
Second, updating your passwords on a site are not well integrated either. If you do happend to update a password on a site, 1password will prompt you to save a new entry for that site. Most sites also don’t display a username field in their update password forms, so you end up with a new 1password entry that has your password and no username.
At this point I will just generate a new password then use the desktop application to edit and update a password for a given site. I’m not a UX person, so I don’t really have any recommendations here for workflow as to how this experience could be improved.
I can understand that 1password wants to be flexible enough to have multiple password combinations for a given site, but maybe addition/updating process could be a little smoother.
Another strange feature is the multiple popup behavior. If a site contains frames or some other combination of the sort, you will get 2 or more popups asking to save your password. I would think that 1password should just show you 1popup at the top of the screen and be done.
If I decide to not click the X or save button and continue to navigate through the site, I would expect 1Password to just quiet down and not nag me like a cold call salesman. The popup requires you to click one of the 2 options or it will never go away! Sometimes I’m just not ready to save the password, and don’t have the patience to close out the 3 popups for 1password on my screen.
In chrome, the view password history button just takes me to a blank screen. Probably just a bug. Would be great to have though since I’ve lost quite a few passwords that I’ve generated and used on sites.
Lastly, I will say that the price is a li
ttle steep, considering that you have to pay for every platform you want to use this on. I can see this being a large barrier to entry for many people when considering a password manager, and this has been a pain point for many critical reviews on the app store.
One thing I would love to see is a right click to generate password option. It would be great if I could right click on a form field and generate a new password based on my current generate password settings. That password would then also be copied to the clipboard.
Maybe in this flow, it could also prompt here, asking if I would like to use this password to update an existing login. Then I wouldn’t even need it to copy to clipboard.
Another feature that would be nice is to have it just automatically save off username/password combinations for me without prompting. This could be an option that I could turn off and on.
Generating password combinations automatically for me in signup forms would be cool too. This could be based off of commonly named password form fields or something creative like that. You are already saving off the field name for passwords, you can keep a list of those and when you come acros
s a site that you don’t know about but has those fields, you could prompt or automatically fill in the field with a password, automatically saving it off.
Again this is just my wish list since I have so many logins across so many sites, and being a developer myself its probably more than any general user would request.
Just because an app is better than the rest, does not always say its the best app, just that the bar is not very high to begin with. I believe its going to take a few more high profile people getting hacked for password managers to become mainstream. It would be great if Tim Cook, Steve Balmer, or Larry Page somehow got their passwords hacked. See how long it takes their company to create an amazing password manager.
I hope that 1password puts itself inline for becoming one of those apps that every goes to, however, the reality is that if they don’t, o
ne of the big players will come out with something super easy to use and FREE.
With all that being said, 1Password is probably one of the most polished password managers that I have found, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a password manager.