1Password on Wednesday released an early access version of 1Password 8 for iOS, which brings a redesigned interface and a new backend to iPhone and iPad users. The new version of the app, which 1Password says will eventually come to all of its supported platforms, has been available in early access mode for Mac since August and was released for Windows in November.
As a long-time 1Password 7 user, the redesign was immediately apparent when I opened the beta version of the app. As far as I know, almost all the icons have been changed to be a bit more fun and colorful, and the interface looks more modern now.
1Password 7 opened to a favorites screen with some recently used passwords. Other than marking or unmarking connections as favorites, there wasn’t much you could do to customize the screen. It was still a little frustrating for me, as I hardly ever used the screen and immediately bounced back to search.
1Password 8, on the other hand, has a home screen that lets you access things like your recently created or modified vaults, categories, and password lists. You can also modify it to suit 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 empty everything in a folder, you can hide everything except “All Items”.
The older (well, current) version of the app let you know if any of your passwords had been compromised and could alert you if the login you were viewing had a reused password, but it doesn’t. there wasn’t a single screen that let you manage your overall security. The new version of the iOS app adapts the Watchtower section of the desktop version to mobile, which also gives you an overall security score.
There was controversy surrounding 1Password 8, after the company announced that its Mac app’s user interface would be powered by Electron (the web browser technology behind apps like Slack, Evernote and Discord) instead of native code like SwiftUI or AppKit. Some users worried that the change would make the password manager more resource-intensive, or less like a real Mac app. Whatever your opinion of this change, it’s not really a factor with this iOS app, which 1Password says 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. Although everything has gone well 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 major change from the previous version. If you’re okay with the increased risk of flakiness and want to try the redesign for yourself as soon as possible, you can join the TestFlight using the link in the 1Password blog.