1Password released an early access version of 1Password 8 for iOS on Wednesday, offering iPhone and iPad users a redesigned interface and a new backend. The new version of the app, which 1Password says will eventually make its way to all supported platforms, has been available in early access mode for Mac since August and was released for Windows in November.
As a longtime user of 1Password 7, the redesign was immediately apparent when I opened the beta version of the app. As far as I know, almost every icon has been changed to be a bit nicer and more colorful, and the interface now feels more modern.
1Password 7 opened a favorites screen with a few recently used passwords. Other than marking or unmarking logins as favorites, there wasn’t much you could do to customize the screen. This was always a bit frustrating for me as I had never actually used the screen and would immediately bounce to search.
1Password 8, on the other hand, has a home screen that gives you access to things like your vaults, categories, and lists of recently created or changed passwords. You can also customize it to the way you organize and access your passwords – if you’re a big user of categories, favorites, and tags, you can move those options up. If you dump everything into one folder, you can hide everything except “All Items”.
The old (well, current) version of the app would let you know if any of your passwords had been compromised, and could warn you if the login you were viewing had a reused password, but there wasn’t a single screen that you manage your overall security. The new version of the iOS app adapts the Watchtower section of the desktop version for mobile, giving you an overall safety score as well.
There was some controversy surrounding 1Password 8, after the company announced that the Mac app’s user interface would be powered by Electron (the web browser technology behind apps like Slack, Evernote, and Discord) rather than native code like SwiftUI or AppKit. Some users worried that the change would cost the password manager more resources to implement, or make it feel less like a real Mac app. However you feel about that change, it’s not really a factor with this iOS app, which according to 1Password uses SwiftUI for the interface and Rust for the core.
Of course, there are other reasons why you might not want to use an early access version of a password manager. While it’s been good for me so far, there will probably be a few bugs for testers to catch. If your phone’s password manager is absolutely essential to your work and/or life, it’s probably best to wait for an official release, especially since this update is a big change from the previous version. However, if you don’t mind a higher chance of flaking and want to try the redesign yourself as soon as possible, you can join the TestFlight via the link in the 1Password blog post.