Review: 1Password, by AgileBits Inc.
1Password, by AgileBits Inc.
Price fluctuates betwee free and $17.99, ***1/2
- Convenient storage of password
- Integrates well with Mac version
- Easy to use interface
- No obvious ability to import data
- iOS version does not ask to save passwords when using included browser
With the proliferation of secure website, online shopping, and community forums (as well as just routine home and work computer safety) we are asked for dozens of passwords every day. I have long lost the ability to try to remember a unique password for each location, and despite my wish, we are always reminded not to use the same passwords for different sites. So these days a password managing program is almost a must have.
Figure 1. Integration with Touch ID is great, so at least I don't have to remember one more password for this!
1Password for iOS (universal binary) is such a program. It lets you store and categorize passwords, as well as other important secure information – credit cards, passports, bank accounts, and driver’s license numbers. There are other options including some web-based solutions (such as FastPass and Roboform), but 1Password is a program stored on your device or computer. I don’t have 1Password for my computer, so I was just testing out the iOS version, but from what I can see it would integrate very well with the desktop version. 1Password has routinely been recognized as one of the top password apps for the Mac.
Figure 2. You can sync with Dropbox or iCloud, especially useful when you have 1Password on your PC or other devices.
1Password acts as a basic vault. Your can input, categorize, and store passwords or secure information on your device, and have it backed up (available for syncing) with iCloud or Dropbox. All data is encrypted, and you have a master lock for everything (meaning you can’t just get in by tapping the app icon). It also include Touch ID integration, so you can use your fingerprint to get into your master vault. It also comes with a built in browser, which is necessary if you want to use 1Password to fill out information for your while surfing the web (since iOS doesn’t allow cross-app communication like that). You can also always copy a password to the clip-board if you really want to use a different browser.
One nice feature of 1Password is the idea of shared vaults. You can create a set of passwords that you may want to share with someone, and keep those separated from passwords that you want to keep private. So I could give my family access to my password for iTunes (for example) but keep my password for iMore separate. You also have a wide range of categories for data (logins, passwords, bank accounts, software licenses), and a nice ability to organize your information (work related, home, family, etc.).
Figure 3. Lots of categories of data can be stored, more than many of the traditional password utilities.
Included in the vault is a really nice password generator. It lets you choose the length of the password, adjust the amount of digits versus letters, and adjust the amount of symbols. In the generator, you can even select “avoid ambiguity” meaning you won’t have a question about a zero versus capital letter “O”. It didn’t let you specify which symbols you can or cannot use (some website differ in this regard). I also wish they had an option to choose three random words as a password, which I have heard is both more secure and easier to remember.
Figure 4. Password generation is a nice add on, with the ability to adjust some features to taste.
A couple of things that I was disappointed that 1Password didn’t do. When I was using their built in browser and typed a password for a website, I wasn’t prompted to save it in the vault. That means I would have to manually enter all the password data for the websites I visit, rather than have it automatically detected and saved. It also didn’t let you import data. I understand the desktop version does let you do this, and as I said earlier I get the impression the iOS version is really built to synchronize with the desktop version.
Figure 5. Organization is key, with an easy ability to organize your passwords, and even share some of them.
All in all, this is a useful app, but I suspect especially so if you also use the desktop version. Without the ability to import data, or automatically detect and save passwords/login information when using the built in browser, I feel that the iOS version is limited by itself. If you just want a place to keep secure information (social security numbers, drivers licenses, credit card information) then the app might be very beneficial. The price fluctuates between $17.99 and free for the universal binary. When it is on the lower end, I can strongly recommend it, but if you are paying $17.99 (like I did) I really can only recommend it strongly if you use the corresponding desktop version in conjunction with the app. Three and a half out of five stars, mostly because as a stand alone app I found it somewhat limited.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.