Command-backslash your way to better password hygiene
On Tuesday, 1Password 8 for Mac was released from beta and into the public domain, bringing a more modern style and a slew of new features to the popular password organiser.But there is one feature in the app that might be a game changer for Mac users: a new Universal Autofill feature that allows you to automatically enter passwords into applications in the same way you can in browser tabs.
Previously, as with other password managers, everything worked smoothly in the browser: load the page, click the icon, and your password is filled.
If you’re in a native app, though, you must open your password manager, search for the account, then copy and paste your information into the app.
You may create a new superimposed menu that will complete passwords in apps much like you’d expect using Universal Autofill, which 1Password attaches to a global keyboard shortcut.
(1Password 8 has been available for Windows for months, but it lacks a functionality similar to Universal Autofill.)
In my limited testing, it works nicely and is really quick, especially if you have Touch ID enabled.
This new version has been in the works for quite some time.
1Password 8 has been in public beta for months — the business claims 40,000 people have tested it — and the firm has claimed it will cure almost everything that ailed earlier versions, including a bizarre Chrome memory problem, the app’s occasional slowness and confusing UI, and so on.
I’ve been one of those beta testers for a few months now, and it is a vastly improved experience – less instances of 1Password taking forever to load or not loading at all, fewer memory-hogging issues, and a UI that belongs in this decade.
But features like Universal Autofill are really what make or break password managers. Because even though it’s an unequivocal, no-question, easy-choice good idea to use a password manager, most people don’t. Password managers are a pain! On iOS and Android, where typing your long hexadecimal password is a hassle, password managers are an easy win, and both OSes have done a good job turning them into a two-tap process. On desktop, though, it’s both easier to type and more annoying to hunt through your password manager. 1Password is trying to solve that and give you even fewer reasons not to use it.
Universal Autofill is also one of those features that 1Password could use for many more things. The service has been branching out from “password manager” to “important-info-of-all-kinds manager” that also stores your crypto wallets, hides your email, and more. A feature like Universal Autofill could train users to use 1Password more and eventually use it to store more stuff.