1Password Families featured image

Flipping his way to Texas

I suspect that I am like every other parent alive, always happy to talk your ear off about the latest incredible thing that my son (and only child) Austin, has done.

Austin upside down in Texas

Austin is 15, and a trampoline gymnast. He trains at Skyriders Trampoline Place, the home of Canada’s gold medal-winning Rosie MacLennan. He is Canada’s current Level 5, age 16 and under National champion. So yeah, I am a pretty proud dad.

A few weeks ago Austin was invited to spend a week out in Texas to train at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center. This was going to be his first international trip without Brenda and me. Sure, he’d be going out there with a couple of other athletes and a coach, but we were still a bit nervous about it.

So, we started to get things ready for his trip. There were consent forms to fill out, travel and health insurance to purchase, flights to arrange and more. As parents, we also wanted to provide him with any and all information he could potentially need while away. Now, if only there was somewhere that I could put all of this info. :)

As it turns out, we have just the right place: 1Password Families of course! Using our 1Password Families account, I created a Texas Trip vault, and shared it with both Brenda and Austin.

Flipping to Texas: Texas Trip vault

I added our passports, contact info and a credit card for emergencies (new headphones are not an emergency). In went the flights, insurance policies, consent forms, and all the rest. Finally, I added passwords for all the ways he could reach us, from Skype to FaceTime to Zoom; although, trying to get a 15-year-old to actually talk to his parents was another matter.

Flipping to Texas: Austin sign

It was really quite reassuring to know that all of that information was there for him to easily access on either his Mac or his iPhone (which never, ever leaves his side—except when he’s jumping!). Better yet, if we had forgotten anything, we could easily add it to the vault from home, and it would instantly show up for him in Texas.

Austin had a great time out in Texas. He came back with some pretty awesome memories and indications that “he was just fine without us”. :) I’m pretty excited to say that he’s qualified for the Canadian finals again this year, and who knows, maybe in 4 years he’ll be headed to the Olympics.

I created this Texas Trip vault for his trip and found it to be tremendously useful, so thought I’d share it with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how an event- or activity-based vault would be useful to you.

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1Password 6.2 for Mac: The New Tricks Edition

You know what they say. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach password managers new things.” I don’t know about old dogs, but 1Password has definitely learned some new tricks over the years. There have been dozens of new versions, hundreds of betas, and approximately a gazillion improvements! That’s a lot of changes, and we’re not about to stop now. Welcome to 1Password 6.2 for Mac: The New Tricks Edition.

A bigger brain

1Password logo: brain

One of the most magical things about 1Password is the handy-dandy browser extension, which automatically saves your passwords. It’s also the way 1Password knows how to fill in your information on sites asking for your shipping information or credit card number.

The extension is powered by what we call the brain, and boy has it been doing its homework lately. It studied numerous websites, drank some ginseng-infused green tea, and now is ready to fill your information on any website you throw at it. When you save a new Login, the brain will also take a stab at filling in a good title for you.

First-class importing

We’ve made 1Password a lot more versatile and accessible in recent months. We’ve had beautiful updates to 1Password for Android, iOS, and Mac. We announced 1Password for Teams and 1Password Families. We also have 1Password beta for Windows 10 in the Windows Store. This is the best time for you, your businesses, and your loved ones to join our 1Password family.

1Password 6.2 for Mac: Import Wizard

We wanted to make switching to 1Password a breeze, so we took another look to make sure importing data was simple. If you’re joining us from another app, jump right in—the water’s fine and the sailing’s smooth!

The whole bag o’ tricks

These are the two big new features available in 1Password for Mac, but that’s not all we have for you! This release features dozens of other improvements. We’ve made 1Password mini faster and play better with multiple active Chrome profiles. Plus, you can now restore existing data from iCloud when you’re setting up 1Password for Mac. If you’d like to learn about all of the changes in this update, take a gander at our full release notes.

What do you think of today’s update? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments or start a conversation with us in our discussion forums. We also invite you to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Guest of Honour: Don McAllister

Photo courtesy Don McAllister

Photo courtesy Don McAllister

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Don McAllister about how he went from creating video tutorials for a family member to building an empire helping people learn how to use apps on their Macs and iOS devices. Don has been a member of our 1Password family for many years, and it was fascinating to hear about how ScreenCastsOnline has grown and evolved—alongside AgileBits!—over that time.

What are screencasts and what is ScreenCastsOnline?

Screencasts show someone how a piece of software or service works on their computer. I talk away and describe what’s happening on-screen!

ScreenCastsOnline is basically a weekly tutorial that keeps people abreast of what’s going on within the Apple space, looking at new pieces of software as they come out. I’ll bring a whole series of shows about OS X and iOS as they come out. But I think fairly uniquely for what I do is that I also cover third-party software, such as 1Password and Default Folder X. It’s the third-party stuff people seem to like because you can get OS X and iOS tutorials pretty much anywhere but there aren’t many other people who cover the third-party stuff.

People can sign up for a monthly, quarterly, or full membership and they basically get the whole package. They get access to the website and a free magazine each month which has videos from the previous month and articles, etc. They also now get a brand new Apple TV app which gives them access to the entire archive.

There’s also the ScreenCastsOnline monthly magazine, which is an iOS app. It has the last month’s video tutorial stream, but it also has a number of articles in there as well from various “Mac luminaries” like David Sparks and Allison Sheridan. They all contribute articles each month and that gets published in the magazine. And people can either get that as part of their membership, or they can go to iTunes and they can actually subscribe to the magazine on its own.

SCO Magazine

The new thing is a completely separate iOS app that’s available for the iPad, the iPhone, and the Apple TV. It allows people to buy individual episodes. There are about 60 tutorials in there. They’re mainly themed, so there’s a series on OS X El Capitan, there’s a series on iOS 9, there’s a series on Apple Photos, there’s a series on iWork for Mac and iWork for iOS. As we move forward, I’m going to start including the weekly tutorials in there as well so the 1Password episodes are in there for purchase.

SCO Showcase

How did ScreenCastsOnline get started?

My sister-in-law bought a Mac on the strength of my raving about it. She lives 20 or 30 miles away, so I couldn’t sit down and show her how to do things, so I decided to make her a couple of screencasts just to show the basics. At the same time, I had the idea of doing an audio podcast. When I started doing the screencasts for my relative, I thought, “Hang on a minute, this is just a piece of digital media. Perhaps I could launch this as a podcast.”

So those very first ones that I did, I just put out on an RSS feed and created a simple website. I gave the tutorials away for free for a couple of months, until about Christmastime. It was taking up my entire weekend just to make a 20-minute screencast. People were very responsive and appreciative, and I started to get some people actually contacting me saying, “Look, I really appreciate you doing this, is there any way we can donate?” That seeded an idea, “I wonder if I did something a bit extra whether or not I could actually turn this to something else.”

How do you decide which apps to highlight?

It’s really what I think people will be interested in at the time. Obviously, when new versions of OS X and iOS 9 come out, I have to cover that because people are expecting me to cover the latest operating system releases. But I also look for new apps and I get recommended things, as well.

It’s difficult because I don’t have a typical viewer. I mean, I have all sorts of people as members, from college professors to students to, well, basically anyone who’s got a Mac or an iPhone or an iPad. Lots of retired people, lots of people in businesses, small businesses, teenagers, it’s all very mixed.

I love that! I think super-technical people like me tend to think that people interested in this type of thing are also super-technical.

I don’t assume too much prior knowledge. So I always thought the super geeks and the real Mac heads who have been using the Mac for years would never be interested in what I do. But it’s really strange in that I get a lot of feedback from people who have been using the Mac for years and years and years, and yes, they still enjoy watching the show and also they still say, “I’ve been using this application for four years, I thought I knew it inside out, and I learned three new things in the episode you did.”

It’s very accessible for people of all skill ranges. I do try and mix it up a bit. Perhaps I might have a really simple show one week and then a more advanced show the next week, but it’s surprising just how much value people get from it no matter what their skill level is. It never ceases to amaze me, really.

It sounds like you started ScreenCastsOnline about the same time that Dave and Roustem started working on 1Password. I’m curious as to how you heard about 1Password and how you became a 1Password user.

That’s a good question! It’s always been there, as far as I can remember. I can’t remember when I started using 1Password. I have a video for 1Password on the iPhone from 2008, and it definitely goes back before then. It’s one of those applications that I could never be without. I use it multiple times every day on the iPhone, on the iPad.

And it’s just great! The beauty of it now is the cross-platform aspect of 1Password is so seamless, it’s just a joy to use. I use my iPhone and my iPad just as much as my Mac these days, and just to know I can set up a password on any platform and within seconds it’s synchronized across to another platform—and on my phone or on the iPad I can use Touch ID to get into it. You can get to all your passwords from within Mobile Safari and you’ve got the share extensions, it’s fantastic. Also, I’m seeing more and more applications now that have 1Password integration built in on the iPad and the iPhone and every time I see it I always go, “Yayyy!!”

What’s your number one tip for new 1Password users on any platform?

That’s a difficult one! I’m always using Command-\ for filling in Safari on the Mac. That’s one of my favorite things. 1Password syncing with iCloud for the Primary vault just makes life so much easier, especially if, like me, you do a lot of building machines. I’ve put all my serial numbers for things I don’t buy from the Mac App Store, all the things I need to do to build a new machine are all in 1Password. You just sign in with your Apple ID, iCloud is there, you install 1Password, and you’ve got all your data available to you straightaway. You don’t have to worry about how it’s being synced, it’s synchronizing with iCloud. So that’s probably my most recent favorite thing about it.


My thanks to Don for taking the time to talk to me about ScreenCastsOnline! All of us here at AgileBits are grateful for his support over the years and are thrilled to see how successful Don’s been. Don’t forget to check out the SCO website, Magazine, and Showcase!

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1Password 6.3 for iOS: The Time-Saving Edition

I can’t believe it’s already March and Daylight Saving Time is almost upon us again! For many of us, this means a slightly darker morning commute, but also more daylight to play in at night. Whether you’re eagerly anticipating the clocks springing forward or already rueing the change, today’s update to 1Password for iOS will make things just a bit brighter for you. Besides, the new improvements will save you so much time, you won’t even miss that hour. :)

Choose a favorite (vault, that is)

Between work, my family, and my podcasting passion, there’s a lot of information I want to securely share with other people. 1Password for Teams and 1Password Families have made this so simple for me, but now I have a lot of vaults! When I use 1Password on my phone, I’m generally filling in a credit card number or logging in to an app, so I almost always want to find items in my personal vault.

Now I can instruct 1Password to always open my personal vault at launch. To specify which vault you’d like 1Password to show when you launch the app, go to the Settings screen, then tap Vaults > Always Open To.

Shine a Spotlight on it

I often use Spotlight to find apps and launch them, and I love that I can also use it to find items in 1Password. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the tweaks we made to speed up Spotlight search. We also taught it how to read accented characters better, so typing “creme brulee” will now find your amazing Secure Note all about crème brûlée.

1Password 6.3 for iOS: Spotlight

Follow your ears

In this digital age, it’s important for everyone to use a good password manager. That’s why we put a lot of time into making sure VoiceOver support works well with some of our newfangled features. We paid special attention to the vault picker and QR codes used in 1Password for Teams and Families.

And more

I’ve hit some of the highlights here, but this update features even more improvements. If you’d like to read all of the juicy details, check out our full release notes!

I’d love to hear what you think of today’s 1Password update. Please share your thoughts in the comments or start a conversation with us in our discussion forums.

1Password for Mac update featured image

1Password 6.1 for Mac: The Mini Delights Edition

From time to time, something most people overlook makes me really happy: pulling a perfect loaf of bread out of the oven, going for a run on a beautiful day, or writing a fantastic line of code. And sometimes, those small things happen close together and combine into something truly delightful. That’s what 1Password 6.1 is all about: little things that come together to make one great update.

Find the right Login

If you’re anything like me, you not only have a lot of Logins, you have many for the same site. We’ve made it easier to tell which Login is which when you’re using 1Password mini by displaying the Login’s username next to the title when you have duplicate titles.

mini-duplicate-title

1Password mini is also smarter when searching for words that contain accents or other diacritics. While watching the Oscars the other night, I was a little disappointed that The Revenant didn’t win Best Picture. I could at least send the director a consolation prize like a 1Password t-shirt or something (a more exclusive club, after all). I never remember how to exactly spell his last name though, I just remember that it starts with “Ina” with accents somewhere. 1Password makes it easy now, I can search without the accents and it’ll find it just fine.

mini-accents

Teams & Families

One of my favorite parts of 1Password for Teams is that Documents became first-class items. You can see a list of all Documents, and you can link as many items as you want to the same Document. In 1Password 6.1, Documents have become even better, as you can now add Notes and even custom fields, just like with other items. Want to store a password field to go along with that file? Go right ahead.

document-fields

Sync

Syncing your data across all of your devices is one of the greatest conveniences 1Password offers. As part of 1Password 6.1, we’ve rebuilt how syncing is scheduled at the core level. This means that sync now takes fewer resources, so that 1Password mini can be more responsive to the things you want to do.

We’ve also improved iCloud Sync in the AgileBits Store version of 1Password. It’s important to us that the iCloud experience in both versions our app is as good as we can make it.

Licensing

Setting up a new Mac is super exciting! That new Mac smell. swoon Then reality hits: all of those apps that you’re installing, they’re going to want licenses. Licenses that you’ll have to manually enter or drag and drop or double-click or whatever. We thought it would be amazing if we could make it a little bit easier for you to register 1Password for Mac, so 1Password 6.1 will recognize the license you previously saved in a Software License item. It will automatically register itself, without you needing to lift a finger.

1Password 6.1 for Mac: automatic licensing

Better Startup

In my last blog post, I mentioned steps we were going to take to improve the startup process of the 1Password app. 1Password is now a little smarter during startup, and it will do more to communicate with you about what’s going on. If something goes wrong, we’ve added ways for it to detect the problem and tell you about it.

And much more!

These are just a few of the changes we’ve been working on. 1Password 6.1 is available today for all users of the AgileBits Store version of the app, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review.

If you want to know all the details about this release, read the full release notes.

App Spotlight: Evernote featured image

App Spotlight: 1Password + Evernote = ❤

Evernote is a big part of my daily workflow. I use it every day and for almost everything: from taking notes while on a call to recording the steps I took to reproduce a bug I am tracking. Just like 1Password, Evernote has its spot on my iPhone home screen. I use it all the time and it lets me be 100% paper-free.

As a developer, I restore my iPhone more than the average user, so 1Password integration has become a deciding factor when adding new apps to my workflow. Now that I can log in to Evernote for iOS using the 1Password Extension, restoring my devices will be so much easier!

App Spotlight: Evernote - Sign In

If you don’t have an Evernote account yet, creating one is easier than ever now that the registration page supports 1Password. 1Password can generate a strong, unique password for you and save it automatically. Best of all, by using Password Recipes, 1Password can ensure the generated password meets Evernote’s password requirements.

Password Recipes

Sometimes, I go to a website and try to create an account, but they don’t accept my password. They have particular rules to follow, things like maximum length, disallowing specific symbols, etc. When they don’t tell me those rules up front, I have to keep trying passwords until I find one that works.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you when creating your Evernote account, the Evernote team is making use of an awesome 1Password feature called Password Recipes. When asked to generate a new password, Evernote passes 1Password the details of what they need and 1Password makes sure the generated password matches the requirements. Perfect passwords, every time! No muss, no fuss, no frustration. I’m so happy that Evernote has implemented this feature, making sign-up even more simple for all of their customers.

Two-step verification

Right before I published this post, I found out that Evernote has implemented our extension’s TOTP feature, and I’m so excited to tell you about it!

In this day and age, it’s important to keep my accounts as secure as possible, so I was really happy when Evernote announced that two-step verification is available to all Evernote users. I enabled it immediately. Until now, I’ve had to switch back to 1Password to copy my one-time password and quickly switch back to Evernote to paste it before it expires! It’s very stressful. Now that Evernote supports the time-based one-time password (TOTP) feature of the 1Password extension, I don’t have to worry about it anymore. This is probably my favourite thing. Thanks, Evernote!

Just check out how great this is. After filling my email address and password, 1Password automatically enters the one-time password. So easy!

App Spotlight: Evernote - TOTP

Easy as pie

When Mike Greiner told me that he added the 1Password integration to Evernote I was jumping all over the place. Since developing the app extension is what I do here at AgileBits, I wanted to hear how the implementation went.

Here’s what Chuck Pletcher (Evernote iOS Product Manager) said about the experience:

AgileBits gave us a simple, well-documented API to add this powerful feature. The developer who worked on this project, Mike Greiner, budgeted about half a week for this project, but he had it completed before lunch the first day. It took longer to make a demo video than it took to build the integration.

I’m excited to be able to add Evernote to the list of Apps that love 1Password. We’re so happy to tell you that you can upgrade Evernote today to experience the 1Password integration. If you haven’t checked it out yet, today is the best day to start! 😉

Visit the Evernote website to download Evernote today.

We couldn’t make 1Password the awesome app that it is today without feedback from users like you. The same is true for every app out there: developers can make better apps if they know what users want. After experiencing 1Password support in Evernote, you’ll want it in all your favourite apps. Reach out to the developers and send them to our Developer Outreach page, so they can discover for themselves just how quickly and easily they can add 1Password support to their apps.

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Introducing 1Password for Families

I have some exciting news to share with you about families.

Last month I wrote about how I use 1Password for Teams with my family and the response was amazing. Many of you were excited to sign up your family and asked if we’d have special pricing available.

Families are near and dear to our hearts, so we wanted to find a way to make 1Password affordable and accessible for all families everywhere.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we succeeded! We’ve created a special plan with an amazing price just for families, and we went even further by making it easier than ever for families to use 1Password.

Protect your family for $5 a month

family-5-5

1Password for Families builds on our new Teams infrastructure to give you everything you need to protect your loved ones. And it’s only $5 a month for your family of 5.

It’s never been easier to share 1Password with your whole family. There’s no sync service to set up, vaults appear automatically, and there’s an Admin Console where you can invite people and manage sharing with your family.

Every family member gets their own copy of 1Password, and their own personal space to store private information. With this, you can give them the tools they need to stay safe without taking away their independence.

Best of all, 1Password for Families comes with all the 1Password apps at no extra charge. You can easily switch between Mac, iOS, and Android without worrying about licenses (Windows coming soon).

And guess what? You even get the first month free, so sign up now:

Sign up your family now

A Special Launch Special!

1Password for Families is a subscription service and costs $5 a month for up to 5 family members. We like to call it our $5 for 5 plan :)

We know lots of you are already using 1Password today, so we want to make it easy for you to get started. We have a special deal for you if you sign up before Spring springs.

If you create an account before March 21st April 14th, you will get the following early-adopter perks:

  • $10 added to your account (an extra 2 months free)
  • Twice the amount of secure storage for your documents (that’s 2 GB)
  • The ability to invite two more family members for free (a total of 7 family members!)

Sign up before Spring springs!

Best of all, these last two perks are permanent additions to your account. And hurry, because the Spring equinox will be here before you know it!

app

Why 1Password for Families?

Why should you sign up for 1Password for Families when you already have 1Password? The biggest reason is that it makes life so much easier.

Here are a few of the great things 1Password for Families can do:

  • It would be great if I didn’t have to purchase and manage licenses for everyone in my family.
  • When I change the Netflix password, it would be awesome if everyone in my family got it automatically in a secure fashion.
  • A simpler setup would help my uncle use 1Password as he’s not very technical and has trouble setting up sync.

1Password for Families makes all these things easy. I simply send my family an email to invite them. Sync is built in and just works. And my whole family can use 1Password on a single subscription.

And it’s not just about making life simpler. With Families, I can worry less. As a husband and father of two, here are some of the things I used to lose sleep over:

  • What if I share passwords with my family and they delete them by accident?
  • What if I set up my 7-year-old son on 1Password and he forgets his Master Password?
  • If something happens to me, how do I make sure Sara and my family have access to what they need?
  • My parents are getting older and I’m the executor of their estate. Will I have access to their accounts when the time comes?

Now I can start getting on top of these worries before they become real. 1Password for Families allows me to reset accounts, securely share items and documents, and delegate access to the people who need it.

For more details and to sign up your family, jump on over to our brand new Family page:

Sign up your family now

I hope your family loves 1Password for Families as much as mine. If you have any questions, please email us at families@1password.com or leave a comment below.

dave

 

Cheers!

Dave Teare – Founder of AgileBits

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Nexus 6P, meet 1Password 6

Last month I talked about how I’m using 1Password for Teams to keep my family organized and safe online. And earlier this week, Nik announced 1Password 6 for Android.

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about a combination of both and show you how I’m integrating the newest member of the Teare Family team: my new Nexus 6P :)

My New Nexus 6P

One of the best things about my job is that I get to test all the new devices from Apple, Microsoft, and Google. I need to be able to test 1Password on every platform, and of course, I require the latest devices for my testing. Well, that’s the reason I give Sara when I submit my expense reports anyway :)

When 1Password 6 for Android entered beta testing, I knew that I needed a new Android device. After a quick review I decided on the Nexus 6P in the Frost colour and placed my order. It arrived just a few days before we set sail for our 7th annual AgileBits conference, so I needed to get it set up quickly.

Setting up my new phone

The most important thing I need on every new device is my passwords. Of course I have 1Password for that, so my first order of business was to install 1Password from the Google Play Store.

I wanted to be on the beta team so I first needed to sign up to the beta program. If you enjoy being on the bleeding edge as much as I do, be sure to join our 1Password beta before jumping over to Google Play.

Install 1Password 6 for Android from Google Play

With 1Password installed, normally I would simply enter my Master Password to get started; but many of my passwords are shared with other people, so I keep them organized separately using multiple vaults.

Historically, adding all these vaults was a bit of a pain as I needed to manually add each one individually every time I got a new device. I have over 10 vaults, so I’d often be lazy and only add my primary vault. Then Murphy’s Law would get me and I’d invariably need access to one of the passwords in one of the other vaults.

Now that I’m using 1Password for Teams, however, it’s super easy to add all my vaults. All I have to do is add my AgileBits and Teare Family teams and 1Password instantly adds all the vaults I have access to.

Adding Team Accounts

To add my teams, I first need to go to the Settings screen and tap on 1Password for Teams. From there I simply tap Add Account.

Now I could manually enter my team domain, email address, Account Key, and Master Password, but I prefer to select Scan QR Code and take a picture of my Get the Apps page instead.

Adding a team using the QR code scanner in 1Password 6 for Android

1Password finds the QR Code and prepopulates most of the account information (note that the QR Code above contains my Account Key which should not be shared; I was careful and used a sample test account in the screenshot). All I need to do is enter my Master Password and my team account will be added.

Add team in 1Password 6 for Android

Once the team account is added, 1Password will automatically download all the vaults that I have access to. I only needed to add my Teare Family and AgileBits teams and 1Password did the rest.

The best part is how blazingly fast this is. I went from nothing to almost twenty vaults containing 2400 items in just a few seconds. Here’s what my Vault Switcher looks like after adding my teams:

The Vault Switcher in 1Password 6 for Android

Once I had all my passwords on my new phone, I could start installing my other apps. I started with Kindle, Audible, Slack, MindBody, and Twitter. So far I have resisted the games as we have a lot of 1Password updates we need to finish first :)

1Password 6 Highlights

Now that I have my new Nexus 6P all set up, I thought I’d share a few screenshots of my favorite new features in 1Password 6.

First and foremost, I love the new material design. Here’s how my Category list looks for my Personal vault:

Categories view in 1Password 6 for Android

And here’s a look at how great the item details screen looks:

Item details view in 1Password 6 for Android

As much as I love the new design, I simply adore Fingerprint Unlock. Being able to unlock using my fingerprint is especially awesome given my new Master Password. When I set up my new teams accounts I used a 34-character Master Password1, so I don’t enjoy typing it often.

Now when I launch 1Password 6, I don’t need to type my Master Password! I just scan my fingerprint and I’m in.

Fingerprint Unlock in 1Password 6 for Android

Given how easy it is to unlock 1Password, I will likely add a few extra characters to my Master Password as I’m a geek and 50 characters sounds pretty cool :)

General Impressions of the Nexus 6P

I have to be up front and start by saying that I’m an iOS guy through and through. While there are a lot of things I love about my Nexus 6P, I expect I’ll be switching back to iOS after WWDC this year when Apple announces iOS 10.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I can honestly say that the Nexus 6P is the best Android device I have ever used. It feels good to hold, the Nexus Imprint scanner is accurate and super fast, and the reversible USB charger fixed my biggest complaint about my old Nexus.

As for Android itself, it has improved a lot over the last two years. Marshmallow feels polished and very fast. The Photos app is wonderful and I especially love how I can purchase books directly within Kindle and Audible.

My biennial switch to Android has been a great experience so far. And I’m incredibly proud of what our Android team has delivered in 1Password 6.

If you love 1Password 6 as much as I do, please leave a review. We’re sitting at 4.3 stars at the moment and now that we have these incredible new features I hope you’ll help us get to a solid 5 stars :)

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1Password 6 for Android: It’s time

Android family, today’s all about you! 1Password 6 for Android is here, and it’s available for immediate (and FREE) download from Google Play. Wait, come back! I have more to tell you. I’m so excited about the features in version 6, you’ve got to let me talk about some of them. =)

Material Design

An application’s interface—the way you interact with it—is one of the most important things. In 1Password 6, we’ve given our app a face lift. But Material Design means so much more than that. Material Design is the name of what Google describes as a “visual language” for application designers and developers. It’s not just about fonts and colours, it’s about various visual elements that help provide a more consistent experience for you.

You’ll find cleaner and more spacious layouts, a navigation drawer, toolbars, and umpteen other things, all focused on a simpler, clearer, more convenient user experience.

If your phone or tablet has access to the Google Play Store and is running Android OS 4.1 or newer, you’ve got everything you need to install 1Password 6.

Fingerprint Unlock

1Password 6 can be unlocked with your fingerprint, using the sensor on your phone! One of my friends recently got a Google Nexus 5X, which has a neat little circle on the back of the phone that reads her fingerprint. It’s so subtle, because it looks like she’s just picking up her phone in a natural way. It’s really cool to see how this natural motion quickly and securely unlocks 1Password.

Fingerprint Unlock works on devices that support this new Google technology and are running Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow.

1Password for Teams

Whether you are a team of 1 or 100, a family of 2 or 12, if you have information that you want to selectively share with others, 1Password for Teams is the safest and simplest way to do it.

If you’ve already set up your team, you’ll be happy to hear that 1Password 6 enables you to easily add your 1Password for Teams account using the built-in QR code reader. 1Password for Teams support is in beta, but we didn’t want to keep you waiting for this oft-requested feature!

If you’re new to 1Password for Teams, please join the public beta and create your team at teams.1password.com. You’ll need a phone or tablet running Android OS 5.0 or newer to access your Teams account in 1Password 6.

You mentioned that it’s time?

I did, didn’t I? Thanks for reminding me. =) It’s time for a bit of chest pounding. Time to dig deep and step up our game. It’s time for 1Password to exceed your expectations. We propose to do that with frequent-er updates and finely applied layers of polish on features that you already use and love.

Now that the new features have had their time in the spotlight, let’s talk about some significant fixes and improvements that are in version 6.0:

  • Fingerprint Unlock isn’t just for the main app—it also works on 1Password Keyboard!
  • Wi-Fi Sync is greatly improved, from the internal (database optimization) to the external (the notifications 1Password shows you).
  • There’s a toolbar everywhere now. Consistency means not having bits ‘n’ bobs poof in and out of view.
  • Icons for categories and settings have been refreshed.
  • There’s a floating button. I mean, it has a purpose: you can use it to add new items. But I think the more important thing here is that it’s a button that floats, like a magical blue orb.

For the full details on what’s new and wonderful in 1Password 6, be sure to check out the complete release notes.

Wait, version 6?

We’ve been focusing a lot on your 1Password experience. We want it to be delightful. Wherever possible, we want to simplify and clarify. So let’s talk for just a moment about the version number.

If you’ve been with us a while, you’ll note that we’ve skipped ahead a little bit. One small way of simplifying things is to use the same version number everywhere. Therefore, 1Password for Android is now version 6, aligning it with Mac and iOS (c’mon, Windows, we’re all cheering for you!).

1Password 6 for Android is a free download for everyone. It offers a one-time, in-app purchase to unlock its Premium features. If you’ve previously unlocked the Premium features, the version 6 upgrade is absolutely free. Thank you for your support!

We’d love to hear what you think about the new version, and invite you to join us in our discussion forums or leave a comment below. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook, if you prefer to chat with us there.

Oh, one more thing. If you’re the adventurous sort and want to jump on the beta train, we’d love to welcome you to our beta family! Simply sign up for the 1Password beta for Android newsletter to get started.

Thanks for choosing 1Password!

Security header

How 1Password calculates password strength

Password strength is a big deal. It is in fact one of the biggest deals. That’s why the Security Audit feature in 1Password pinpoints your weak passwords, so that you can go through and change them at your earliest convenience. But how does the strength meter actually calculate the strength of your password? What makes a password strong or weak? A recent conversation with a user inspired me to write down my thoughts on the subject. If you are going to trust 1Password to generate strong passwords for you, you should know how the strength meter works.

About Those Meters…

For a password strength meter to actually be accurate, it needs to know the system that was used to generate the password. When you generate a password using 1Password, we know that this newly generated password has been generated in a truly random fashion and can accurately calculate the password’s strength. However, when 1Password is evaluating the strength of a password that you have typed in manually, including a password which was generated in a truly random fashion on another device, the strength meter cannot know whether it is looking at a password that was created through a truly random process or created by a human.

Password strength: perfectly good

If our password strength meter sees something like “my dog has a bunch of fleas” or something like “gnat vicuna craving inclose”, it can’t tell that the first was probably made up by a human and that the second may have been generated by something smarter, like our password generator.

Password strength: not so good

Because it doesn’t know how the password was generated, it errs on the side of caution. The strength meter will mark “gnat vicuna craving inclose” (a perfectly good password) the same as it will mark “my dog has a bunch of fleas” (not a good password at all). Both have the same number of letters (27) and both contain only lowercase letters. It’s up to you to know where the password originated. Did it come from our random password generator, or is it something a person made up?

Randomness and Selection Bias

When we speak of “randomness”, we are referring to mechanisms which have been tested and determined to be truly random and not dependent on events which may be repeatable or subject to outside observation. The toss of a fair coin or die is a source of “random input”. The radioactive decay of a substance can be used as “random input”. Our own limited vocabularies and choices of words are not “random input”.

When creating unique, strong, random passwords, what is required is a Cryptographically Secure Pseudorandom Number Generator (CSPRNG) to ensure that no one value or sequence of values will be preferred over all other values. The values from the CSPRNG may then be used to select from some alphabet or word list to create unique, strong, random passwords having the appropriate construction and length.

Selection Bias refers to preferences for specific values over others, whether by using an unfair coin, a loaded die, or a random number generator which does not produce a uniform and unbiased set of values. Inappropriate math performed on valid CSPRNG produced numbers may also lead to biases for certain values in favor of others. A common error is the use of modulo (remaindering) arithmetic which results in smaller values being used preferentially over larger values — there are more instances of values between 0 and 5535 (66 for each value) than between 5536 and 9999 (only 65 for each value) when using modulo-10000 on an unsigned 16-bit CSPRNG generated number.

Password strength: happy synonyms

For human-generated passwords, common causes of selection bias include the use of a small and limited vocabulary (list all of the synonyms for “happy” you don’t use on a regular basis) and reuse of words (“cool”, “okay”) and avoidance of others (“groovy”, “hip”).

Pre-generated word lists avoid this type of selection bias by randomly selecting words which are common enough that the user should be able to spell the word from memory without being biased by personal preferences or regional differences in word choices.

Password Construction and Strength

The format of a password — the rules which are used to select characters or words — influences the strength of a password, but does not limit its possible strength, except to the extent that length limitations may be imposed on the result.

As an extreme example, consider a password that consists only of the letters “H” and “T”, and that you generate by repeatedly flipping a fair coin. If you make this password long enough it can have any strength desired — you only need to keep flipping a fair coin. But “long enough” in this case is actually unreasonably long. If you want a password that is as strong as a 10-character, mixed-case letter and digit password generated by our Strong Password Generator, your “H” and “T” password would have to be 60 characters long!

Memorizable Passwords

Shorter passwords from truly random sources can be stronger than longer passwords from biased sources even if they draw from the same character sets. For example, an 8-character, mixed-case letter and digit password produced by our generator is going to be a much better password than the longer (10-character) “Abcde12345” password that a human might come up with. There is reason to believe that the more “strength requirements” (use a digit, use mixed case, add a special character, etc.) we impose on people, the worse the passwords that they create may get. Part of this has to do with alphabet reduction: users may choose to limit mixed alphanumeric passwords to more alpha and less numeric, or more lowercase and less uppercase.

There is reason to believe that the more “strength requirements” we impose on people, the worse the passwords that they create may get.

For example, the rule “at least 8 characters, 1 uppercase letter and 1 digit” will produce approximately 80 billion (109) passwords (6 lowercase, 1 upper case, 1 digit: (26 * 26 * 26 * 26 * 26 * 26) * 26 * 10, or about 36 bits) if the uppercase letter appears first, followed immediately by a digit. But again, that assumes that the password was created by something that had a good random number generator and knew how to use it, and that the password isn’t simply a capitalized 8-character word with a single vowel replaced by a digit, such as “B3musing” (possibly as few as 14 bits). If the uppercase character and digit are allowed to be in any of the 8 possible positions, that increases the number to approximately 4,500 billion possible passwords (or about 42 bits).

This is a classic example of alphabet reduction where the complete rule should have been expressed as “at least 8 characters, 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 digit, and the remaining 5 chosen completely at random from the set of uppercase and lowercase letters, and digits”. When this revised rule is used, and a CSPRNG is used to select the characters, the number of possible passwords increases to ((62 * 62 * 62 * 62 * 62) * 26 * 26 * 10 * (8 * 7 * 6)), a total of about 2 million billion possible passwords (or about 50 bits). Each additional alphanumeric character, chosen completely at random by a CSPRNG, adds about 5.9 bits of additional strength.

Truly random length-limited passwords are hard for human beings to generate and memorize because people tend to choose less randomness in favor of greater memorizability. Using 1Password to generate and store passwords ensures that strong, unique, random passwords can be used without worrying about forgetting them.

Memorizable Passphrases

Choosing multiple words from a suitably large dictionary of words may result in stronger passwords even if all of the words appear in dictionaries, are spelled with lowercase letters, and no punctuation is used. Assuming a dictionary size of 20,000 common words (about 14.3 bits per word), chosen entirely at random, all of which are lowercase, the number of possible 4-word passwords increases to 160 million billion (about 57 bits.)

Studies of our ability to easily remember information have shown that we have limits to our ability to memorize seemingly random information, unless we have a useful mnemonic device or the information is grouped in a particular manner. This is why telephone numbers and postal codes tend to be grouped as they are, and why mnemonic devices are popular, such as “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas”.

XKCD

XKCD comic 936 is a perfect example of how easy it may be to memorize the random four-word password “correct horse battery staple”. As our Chief Defender Against the Dark Arts Jeffrey Goldberg will tell you, you may even add your own rules to that password to make it easier to memorize — “Correct! Horse: Battery staple.” Now you have a nice story to help you memorize a strong, random, unique password.

What It Means to You

Our strength meter (along with every other strength meter ever designed) has to guess how the password it is evaluating was created, unless you are actively generating the password in 1Password at that very moment. This means that you may see a big mismatch between “actual” and reported strength for our generated passwords.

The good news is that our password generator does a really good job of generating truly random passwords, so when you generate a secure, random, and unique password with 1Password, you know that it was generated just for you, right there on your device and it is as strong as can be for the length and rules you requested. So, let’s hear it for “paddle shrill sonorant palazzi ravioli” and “8dUaYolTJu82DDG9” — so happy to meet you, secure, random, and unique passwords that you are!

Additional Reading

For a more comprehensive discussion of generated password strength, please read the Geek Edition of our guide to creating better master passwords.

You’ll also find an article in our knowledge base that discusses password strength meters, chicken entrails, and assorted feats of strength.