updated 09:07 pm EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Forthcoming iOS 8 upgrade with Touch ID support will be free for current owners
According to a new announcement from AgileBits, makers of the iOS and Mac password management app 1Password, the forthcoming version for iOS 8 will be a free update to existing users. In conjunction with that, and a new report that Russian hackers may -- or may not -- have collected over a billion unique email account credentials, the company has opted to put its iOS version on sale for $10, a cut of $15 from its normal $25 price. The iOS 8 update for 1Password, expected this fall, will add extensions and Touch ID support to the password manager.
The program acts like a vault, storing passwords as they are entered on secure sites using a plug-in for Mac browsers or the program's built-in browser in the existing iOS version. The user need only remember the one password that unlocks the vault, rather than all the different passwords used for various sites, and the program can generate highly-secure complex passwords that users are often afraid to engage because of their fear of forgetting them, entering them incorrectly and being locked out, or just the inconvenience of typing long passwords.
Like Apple's iCloud Keychain, the 1Password browser can suggest and store complex passwords. It can also store other encrypted items, such as secure notes, credit card information and other sensitive material. Both programs can sync back and forth between the Mac and iOS versions.
The upcoming "extensions" feature of iOS 8, enabling third-party programs to interact with one another in a secure manner, will prove a significant boon to programs like 1Password by allowing them to work inside other browsers (such as Mobile Safari, perhaps) rather than forcing users to use an in-app browser for secure logins. The 1Password version for iOS 8 will also be among the first third-party apps to support Touch ID authentication, allowing users to utilize the fingerprint sensor to enable unlocking the 1Password vault.