Suggestion – How to make App Store better

I read a post today about a couple of developers that, combined, created over 3,000 iPhone applications. It means that they were submitting over 8 apps/day every day since the opening of the App Store. You can guess what the quality and the overall value of these apps are. This is just another kind of spam.

I feel there is a simple way to stop it:

  • Bug report #7115720
  • Problem Report Title: Please charge iPhone developers per submitted application
  • Product: iPhone
  • Classification: Enhancement

There is a small number of developers that flood the App Store with huge number of low quality applications. It reduces the value of App Store and slows down the overall application review process. One of the examples is described in this article:

Please consider charging the developers an annual per-application listing free. This will make the process of “spamming the App Store” much less attractive.

I am sure the developers will appreciate the shorter review times and the fact that their applications are easier to find in a spam-free store.

Roustem Karimov, Co-author of 1Password

1Password touch, encryption, and iPhone

1Pt_icon_128As you may have heard by now, the new iPhone 3GS features hardware encryption for protecting data on the device. Apple is touting this feature as part of a new Enterprise-ready push for the device.

As you may also have heard from this Wired story, an iPhone developer, hacker, and professor named Jonathan Zdziarski called this encryption “useless” for businesses. Zdziarski says that Apple’s decision to store the encryption key on the device alongside the very data it is protecting is “like storing all your secret messages right next to the secret decoder ring.”

Understandably, we have received a few support requests about what this means to 1Password and the security of our customer’s data. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean much of anything.

Let me explain.

1Password for iPhone and iPod touch (and Mac, for that matter) encrypts all of your information with your Master Password. We use secure, 128-bit AES encryption (outlined in greater detail in this support document) to protect your 1Password database. While we do use the standard, hardware-accelerated encryption frameworks included in the iPhone OS, your Master Password is never stored on the device alongside your data.

In other words, if a thief were to steal your iPhone and use the tools outlined in Wired’s article to copy everything off of it, your 1Password information would still be safe; as long as you don’t commit a security faux pas and use a very short and simple Master Password like “b0b”. The Master Password is (ideally) stored only in your head, locked away from inquiring thieves – just like your 1Password data.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Video: Why Macworld loves 1Password

We aren’t putting the Macworld folks up to this – we swear! But the latest bit from Senior Editor Dan Frakes professes Macworld’s love for 1Password in video, with a great teaser intro using good ol’ fashioned words:

One of the more popular bits of Mac software – at least around the Macworld office – is Agile Web Solution’s 1Password. The utility stores online passwords and other bits of personal info. But that simple sentence doesn’t explain why 1Password is so much better than the built-in functionality of most Web browsers.

We definitely recommend that you check out this latest edition of Macworld Video featuring 1Password. And we thank Macworld for yet more wonderful praise!

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Welcome to 1Password

New “Welcome to 1Password” video: meet Everyone.
Everyone: Meet the new “Welcome to 1Password” video!

It was time to put a fresh foot forward for 1Password, so we created a new introductory video that shows off some of its most popular features. This is just one of many videos to come, as we have a new “Welcome to 1Password touch” video in the works. Other future videos will complement our help docs for 1Password and 1Password touch by demonstrating “getting started” and “how to” topics with visual instructions.

Let us know what you think about this video, as I want to continually hone the design and visual techniques to make them more informative and (hopefully) even a little entertaining.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Twitter founder recommends 1Password in wake of company's hack


The fine folks at Twitter suffered an unfortunate security breach this week when hundreds of the company’s internal documents, spreadsheets, and other files were stolen and leaked to the Internet (note: this was business planning stuff, not usernames or passwords of folks like you and me). Information like employee interview schedules, building alarm codes, credit card numbers, business partner confidentiality agreements, employee dietary restrictions, and even a pitch for a Twitter TV show all fell victim to the attack.

If I may go off-topic for just a moment: Yes, folks are apparently working on some kind of Twitter show.

Twitter, of course, blogged about the incident and stated that employees have been reminded about the importance of following good personal security guidelines like choosing strong passwords. Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, also mused that he was “alarmed how vulnerable most of us on the web are.” Naturally, we couldn’t agree more on the importance of these topics, because these kinds of security breaches can happen to anyone who isn’t serious enough with their passwords. But we were also honored to see Evan recommend our own 1Password as a better way to manage passwords and protect one’s online life.

In another tweet today, Evan offered some good password tips to his followers. Among them are good habits – like using strong passwords – and other habits that are good to break – like using the same password everywhere no matter how strong it is. Evan also said that a “practical way to do this: 1Password.” And yet again, we find ourselves tongue-tied when it comes to disagreeing with statements from Twitter or its employees.

We thank @ev for his recommendation, and hope 1Password can help Twitter to manage its passwords and identities. It is, of course, great to see 1Password recommended by such a high-profile tech CEO. But at the end of the day, we genuinely hope that we can help prevent anyone from having to go through such an unfortunate breach of security.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

A potential solution to keep 1Password's button in Safari 4's toolbar

We’ve had a few reports that, after updating to Safari 4, our 1Password button may refuse to stay in the toolbar. We aren’t quite sure of the scope of the problem yet, but we think we have a potential solution.

Part of the problem may simply be due to changes that Apple made to Safari’s toolbar, and we’re looking into this. If you use Evernote, there is also a bug in its Safari button that causes 1Password (and others, such as TabExpose) to get knocked out of the toolbar each time Safari is started.

Evernote told us that this is a high priority bug they’re looking into. In the interim, we have a solution that might help users to get back their toolbar buttons for 1Password and other apps.

Below is a command that you can copy and paste into Terminal (found in /Applicatons/Utilities) to reset your Safari 4 toolbar. This should reset it back to Apple’s default arrangement of back/forward buttons, the address bar, and Google search box. Quit Safari, then paste this into Terminal and hit return:

defaults delete "NSToolbar Configuration BrowserWindowToolbarIdentifier"

If it works, the only confirmation you will see is a prompt for a new command (this is Terminal’s way of saying “Thank you, sir, may I please have s’more?”). Restart Safari, and you should see the default button arrangement (Evernote users will see its button added automatically). To get 1Password and any other buttons back, select View > Customize Toolbar to display a sheet of all available buttons. Drag the ones you want to the toolbar, click “Done,” and they should now stick between Safari sessions.

Of course, let us know here if this solution works for you (or if it doesn’t), and we’ll keep looking into the issue.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Macworld tips its hat twice at 1Password

While speaking on the general topic of how – and why – to create stronger passwords, Macworld’s Joe Kissell recommends 1Password as a way to better secure one’s online life. More specifically, Kissell writes:

Agile Web Solutions’ outstanding $40 1Password utility includes a flexible password generator among its many features.

In case you haven’t seen the particular tool that Kissell is referring to, it is the Strong Password Generator, available from either your browser’s 1P toolbar button or the 1Password right-click contextual menu. It’s a great, customizable tool that automatically generates extremely secure, customizable passwords for the sites you need to log into. You can opt to save these passwords as Logins in your Agile Keychain, and they are protected and encrypted with the same, single Master Password as the rest of your 1Password data.

In a second post about keeping your online life organized, Kissell again recommends 1Password as a “high-powered password manager.” He also touts 1Password’s ability to organize not just passwords, but other information like credit card numbers, FTP credentials, membership details, garage door codes, and much, much more. He even mentions our 1Password touch app for iPhone and iPod touch as a way to securely bring all your information on the go.

“Other utilities, whatever their virtues, are far less convenient and versatile.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Thanks to Joe Kissell and Macworld for such wonderful compliments!

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Getting 1Password to work on Snow Leopard (Updated)


Maybe you’re a developer helping Apple put some final spit and polish on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the forthcoming major update that’s due by September this year. Or maybe you’re an ahem enthusiastic user who just has to peek at what Apple has behind the curtain. Either way, you are now frantically looking for a way to continue living in a pre-release Snow Leopard world without 1Password working with Safari.

That’s right, while our developer ninjas typically slice through browser updates with startlingly silent speed, we tend to wait for Apple to publicly ship its major OS updates before springing into action. A lot can change during the beta period of an OS, and constantly keeping up with those changes can create a lot of busywork – work that takes us away from supporting our customers and making 1Password even more awesome.

However, as it turns out, 1Password 2.9.19 should work fairly well on Snow Leopard. Our plug-in for most browsers should also work, except for Safari. To get 1Password running in Safari on Snow Leopard, you can perform two simple steps from this post in our forums, courtesy of 1Password developer Chad Seldomridge. To quote:

  1. Configure Safari to run in 32-bit mode (Use Get Info in Finder and enable the 32-bit mode under the General section).
  2. Edit the file and set the Safari.MaxBundleVersion value to 6532 (Update: value changed from 6531 to 6532 for latest Snow Leopard build 10A402a)

That should make 1Password happy in Safari on Snow Leopard, but remember: this is not an official statement of support. 1Password is still completely unsupported on Snow Leopard, so if you need help, swing on by the aforelinked thread to post feedback and ask questions.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

Features coming soon to 1Password touch Pro (Updated)

Update: We released 1Password touch and 1Password touch Pro 2.2 in early August with some new features, so we have updated this chart accordingly. 1Password touch Pro’s price has also increased to $7.99 on its journey towards its eventual price of $14.99.

Original post:

Earlier this week we explained why 1Password touch Pro is not yet so different from its little brother, and why we will be offering it at a heavily discounted sale price for a while. But if you’re wondering which upcoming features actually put the “Pro” in 1Password touch Pro, this is the post for you.

Below is a chart which details the current features that separate 1Password touch Pro from the standard version. More importantly, it lists some of the big new features that are coming soon to the Pro version:


Features on the way include Favorites for easy access to frequently used items, Folders to better organize your 1Password information, and wireless sync via MobileMe and other WebDAV services. But those are just the big ones that the developers will let me talk about publicly – they have plenty of other exciting features in store for 1Password touch Pro.

If 1Password touch is your weapon of choice, don’t fret. It will continue to get other new features and compatibility upgrades.

We know that, right now, the feature differences between 1Password touch and Pro are not quite where they should be. This is partly why 1Password touch Pro, at the time of this writing, is heavily discounted at $5.99 from its eventual retail price. For those who are on the decision fence between these two version, we hope this chart helps you make your choice.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions

A tale of two 1Password touch apps

Alright, we’ll admit it: 1Password touch and our new 1Password touch Pro are not the best candidates for a round of “One of These Things is Not Like The Other.” Sure, we just introduced the Pro version with Quick Copy and Paste and a “Look up in 1Password” Safari bookmarklet (get it here). But besides those features, they’re pretty much the same.

So what gives? Why – after a year of giving 1Password touch away for free – did we start charging for it a week before WWDC, then introduce a separate Pro version that, well, isn’t quite Pro yet? The answer is: it’s complicated.

1Password touch

First, the new 1Password touch (1Pt) price. Believe it or not, we’ve been giving this fine little password and identity manager away for free since we launched it almost a year ago. We hoped that, at least for some, it would be a gateway drug to get people interested in 1Password on the Mac.

1Pt became quite popular, whether people were buying 1Password for the Mac or not (Industry ProTip: Not all iPhone and iPod touch owners are Mac users). So popular, in fact, that it now accounts for the lion’s share of our support load. Toss in the fact that the App Store still doesn’t allow developers to charge so much as a nickel for upgrades or even updates, and we quickly found ourselves with a dead-end business model resembling that of most web 2.0 companies.

Ultimately, we decided that we had to start charging for 1Password touch, so we flipped the switch to $4.99 just a week before the new iPhone was announced.

1Password touch Pro

At the same time, we were already working on 1Password touch Pro (1Pt Pro) which, as the Pro with a capital “P” might suggest, is designed to offer more powerful features that some of our users have asked for. Features like more organization with folders and favorites, syncing over-the-air with MobileMe and other WebDAV services, and much more are all in store for the Pro version.

The reason that we launched Pro without most of its pro-level features is that a crucial upgrade to our regular version got stuck in Apple’s App Store review process. We submitted it two and a half weeks before WWDC, but like many other App Store horror stories, we hadn’t heard a word from Apple (in fact, it just went live last night around 3am, over 3 weeks after submission). The 1Pt update fixed some issues with our new Wi-Fi Sync engine, about which customers had a number of questions and bug reports. We were starting to get nervous about having a 3.0-ready app for the launch last week, something Apple was encouraging of all developers. Instead of submitting another update to the regular version and risk knocking ourselves to the back of the review line, we decided to try a different approach.

We decided to double our chance at getting a 3.0-ready app into the store. We stripped most of the unfinished features out of 1Pt Pro and submitted it as our iPhone-OS-3.0-ready app (in fact, it requires 3.0; 1Pt Pro will not work on any previous iPhone OS). This gave us a second shot at being ready for OS 3.0, and the (admittedly non-ideal) situation offered an opportunity to launch 1Pt Pro at a rock-bottom introductory price of $5.99. Sure, not everyone needs 1Password touch Pro. But those that do, or think they might, can now get it for 60% off of its eventual retail price and be ready for when the real features start arriving. Again, Apple doesn’t allow App Store developers to charge for upgrades or updates, and it shows no signs of changing this policy. The price you pay now for either 1Pt or 1Pt Pro is all you pay. As far as our plans are concerned right now, when 1Pt Pro goes back to a regular price of $14.99, or even when we release 1Pt Pro 3.0, you won’t have to pay another dime.

Lesson Learned

After all the feedback here on the blog and in our forums, it’s clear now where we made our mistake. We rushed to get ready for 3.0, but we didn’t explain to you – the customers without which we would not have jobs – what was going on. Things can get crazy around the intersection of an annual trade show and a massive platform update, and we apologize for getting swept up in the storm. We aren’t a company who believes in overcharging and under-delivering for our customers, and we hope the past three years and 100+ free updates and upgrades to 1Password on the Mac will help prove that (not to mention 1Password touch being free for almost a year). The stripped down, highly discounted Pro edition is a temporary solution. In the near future we will submit 1Password touch 2.2, a free upgrade that fully supports iPhone OS 3.0 and our Quick Copy and Paste feature. Soon, 1Pt Pro will begin filling its shoes with the more powerful features you’ve been asking for.

We hope this post clears up the situation around 1Pt and 1Pt Pro, but as always, we more than welcome your feedback and questions. Thanks for being Agile Web Solutions customers. We are both proud and grateful to serve you all.

David Chartier
Chief Media Producer, Agile Web Solutions