Filling is clearly one of the most important features in 1Password. I know, I know, security is super important too … it protects our data from prying eyes and provides some very valuable peace of mind. But day to day, it is the convenience of being able to fill those long, randomly generated strings of gibberish into various sign-in pages that makes 1Password truly awesome. I’d love to say 1Password’s encryption is my favourite feature, but I’d be lying. When it comes down to it, I just don’t want to have to type my passwords. Ever.
So we rely on the 1Password extension to put those complex passwords where they belong to log us in to websites, pop our credit card details into online shopping forms, and provide our identity details for all those fun new services we can’t wait to try out.
Unfortunately, every now and then we run into a website that just doesn’t seem to want to play nice with 1Password’s current filling algorithms for one reason or another. Believe me, our intrepid filling gurus have performed some complicated code gymnastics to convince the existing extensions to fill forms on these less-than-standard websites. As 1Password sought to tackle more complex login screens, it became more and more challenging to write new solutions in and around the existing codebase.
So, in the 5.3 update for 1Password for Mac, our developers decided the best solution was a complete brain transplant for the extension.
1Password’s new brain
Version 5.3 of 1Password for iOS and version 5.3 of 1Password for Mac have now been released with this brand new brain, and Windows and Android users will see updates soon that take advantage of 1Password’s new smarts as well. This new brain will provide filling that is more consistent across all of the platforms that we offer 1Password on, with more flexible algorithms that can be used on multiple websites, and easier-to-code solutions for those ‘unique’ sign in pages.
What’s improved here?
The browser extension is now a lot smarter at capturing user information on non-standard websites when a new Login is saved. And you may not notice this on your end, but many sites that previously required some of those complicated code gymnastics filling workarounds now fill smoothly – which makes the codebase a much nicer place for our team to play. Starting in version 5.3, you will see an improvement in Credit Card and Identity filling, particularly with respect to the filling of expiry dates. In addition, our gallant gurus have finally managed to slay a particularly troublesome dragon of a website: Citibank saving and filling will now work seamlessly across all login pages! Go on, re-save your Citibank Login to test … I know you want to. :)
Even more awesome than the changes that are already introduced is the framework that our developers have built here. We’ve got a great foundation for future improvements … and our team is already working on slaying more dragons.
Not only is 1Password’s new brain better, stronger, faster, AND more fill-ier than ever, but it ALSO comes with an awesome new reporting feature that will allow users to let us know when 1Password isn’t filling properly – from right within the app! Not only does this feature save you the effort of having to post in the forums or email in to tell us when filling isn’t working, but it quickly gets developers the information that they need, and provides a way for us to communicate fixes and workarounds to you. It’s all-around awesome.
So, what is Synapse?
Synapse is a brand new tool that lets customers report broken filling on websites directly through 1Password. Synapse will automatically gather the information about the site that developers need to quickly diagnose (and fix) the problem. Now, that’s a great improvement for our team, but Synapse is also something for you to get excited about, because beyond making it easy to let us know when something’s not right, this tool will also advise you of any known workarounds (or the fix version) when you report a site that we’re already working on.
How can users report?
Our Knowledgebase has an article that can tell you all about this awesome new feature. But it’s easy to find, right in the extension’s menu!
What information does Synapse gather?
First and foremost: Synapse does nothing without your explicit consent. No information is gathered until you click the ‘submit’ button when reporting a website.
Because Synapse is an information-gathering tool, we want to be very clear about what information we are receiving when you report a website. As always, we take your privacy very seriously. And with Synapse, we take every effort to prevent sensitive information from being collected. Usernames, passwords, and other secure details are not included in the report which is sent to us. We’re also careful to mask any kind of information that could possibly identify you.
Here’s what Synapse does collect:
- The platform you are using. Currently this feature is implemented in 1Password for Mac (introduced in version 5.3), and the beta version of 1Password for Windows. We’d love to expand this feature to our mobile platforms in the future, if possible.
- 1Password’s version number.
- The version number of the browser extension.
- Which browser is being used (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera).
- The browser’s user agent.
- The browser’s bundle identifier.
- The URL of the site that is misbehaving.
- The item’s Category type: whether you are attempting to fill a Login, Identity, Credit Card, or Password item.
- Where the item was created: sometimes a Login created in the main app can behave differently than an item that was saved directly from the extension.
- The date the item was created.
- The date the item was last updated.
- Any additional comments you might choose to share.
How does this make life easier for us all?
On the development end of things, Synapse gives developers a lovely aggregated list of the reported sites, which easily identifies the top issues and lets the team focus on fixing the issues that are most important to you. In addition to easy prioritization, developers have a ton of useful information to help track down the issue … without even needing to request it. Not only does this save time for our developers, but it also saves you from having to hunt down these details, which are not always easy to find! We think it’s a win-win situation.
Synapse also provides us a way to easily notify you when progress has been made on the issues you report. When you report an issue in Synapse, you’ll see an option to provide us with your email address. Sharing your email address means that our team can contact you if they need any more information about the issue that you reported. But, more importantly, it also means that we have a way to let you know when we have a workaround, or, even better, a proper resolution to the issue.
What else will you see when you report an issue with Synapse?
When you report an issue with Synapse, you’ll also be advised of any existing workarounds for the issue and be able to vote on if the workaround was successful for you, which provides us with some valuable feedback. If our developers have already fixed the issue for a future update, you’ll see that notice as well.
Basically, what it comes down to is a pretty awesome update for those of us who rely on 1Password’s filling magic. 1Password’s filling is stronger and more ready to take on those uniquely designed websites, and with Synapse you can easily tell us when something’s not working and give the developers the details they need to fix it quickly.
Let us know what you think about Synapse and 1Password’s new brain in the comments, or in our forums.