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1Password for iOS gets updated, prepares for the future

Big things are afoot, dear 1Password iPhone and iPad users. While we’re not quite ready to talk specifics just yet, I can talk about the small yet shiny updates we released in the App Store and some of our plans for the future.

The updates

Available now are updates to all three iOS versions of 1Password: for iPhone, for iPad, and the universal Pro version for all devices (they’re all version 3.6.1 for those keep track at home). They improve Login filling on websites and fix a handful of iOS 5 bugs like the Login popover, a crasher on iOS 3.1, and an unresponsive search box.

The future

Speaking of iOS 3.1, though, we want to get the word out that this is the last update to support iOS 3 and iOS 4. If you can’t upgrade to iOS 5 for whatever reason, I recommend downloading these version 3.6.1 updates, making a backup copy on your Mac or PC for safe keeping, and simply not opting to update 1Password for iOS until you can upgrade to iOS 5. For a quick way to get a copy of the 1Password for iOS app file (note: this does not backup your actual data. See this guide for that), you can:

  • Select your copy of 1Password in iTunes, from the Apps section in your Library (pictured below)
  • Go to File > Show in Finder/Explorer. This will open a new file browser window to where iTunes stores copies of your apps and automatically the file for 1Password for iOS
  • Copy (don’t move!) this file somewhere safe, or ensure that its folder is backed up by whatever backup software or service you use. Also: +50 points to you for using a backup app or service

ITunes Show in Finder

The why

So why are we going all-in with iOS 5 for the next versions of 1Password for iPhone and iPad? Because iOS 5 adoption is off the charts, and it will let us bring you a more secure and reliable 1Password experience, especially when it comes to some key new features. These enhancements are going to require a lot of work, which means we could add a bunch of extra code to support both iOS 5 and previous versions. But as you’ve probably heard before, extra code means more complexity, and complexity is the enemy of creating a rock solid, fantastic experience.

One of the biggest perks of iOS 5 is, of course, iCloud. Apple’s providing developers with a fantastic cloud service that should simplify a lot of challenges when it comes to sync and backup, and we’re all over that. However, iCloud is only compatible with Lion and iOS 5, as well as Windows Vista and 7.

Another major, though more under-the-hood, change in iOS 5 is something called Automatic Reference Counting. Long story short, this new tech in iOS 5 simplifies a lot of tough problems for developers when it comes to managing memory and making sure apps perform well and don’t crash. Again, we’re all over that. In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t.

The ‘stay tuned’

As far as more details about our next major updates to 1Password for iOS, those will have to wait for another blog post. To be the first to know, be sure to subscribe here to our Agile Blog, follow @1Password and @AgileBits on Twitter, and like the 1Password Fan Page!