1Password is one third-party app that will directly benefit from Extensibility and Apple’s Touch ID API, two features coming in iOS 8 that will let apps work together like never before.
Made by Canadian app company AgileBits, 1Password acts like a digital vault for storing all your Web logins and sensitive data. 1Password for iOS 8 is already in beta, and AgileBits has taken advantage of Touch ID and the ability to directly integrate with Safari. The result is a frictionless experience that demonstrates how iOS 8 is ushering in a new era of powerful, desktop-class mobile apps.
“This is absolutely about iOS maturing in a very, very good way,” David Chartier of AgileBits told Cult of Mac for our look at Extensibility last month. iOS 8 signals a new era of openness for Apple on its mobile platform, as developers can now do things like use Touch ID, offer custom keyboard layouts, and tie into other apps like never before.
The latest beta of 1Password, released over the weekend, offers a perfect example of what iOS 8’s changes will look like for users. It only works on iOS 8, and it allows the user to authenticate the app with Touch ID instead of entering a master password like before. The 1Password beta lets you adjust the time interval for when Touch ID is needed to re-authenticate (a feature Apple desperately needs to add in Settings for unlocking the iPhone).
And that awesomeness is just for getting into the app. When you’re in Safari, 1Password is accessible via the share sheet along with standard actions like copy, print, etc. This is where the power of Extensibility really comes into play. Tap the 1Password icon, authenticate with Touch ID, and select the relevant login info to be automatically filled into the Web form you have open in Safari.
In the past, you had to open the 1Password app, copy text, then jump back into Safari and paste. There was also the option to use 1Password’s built-in web browser with autofill, but it didn’t solve the problem of making it easier to work inside other apps. Now it will be a seamless experience to use 1Password inside Safari and potentially other apps as well.
“Extensibility and Touch ID have been pretty easy to implement so far”
This 1Password beta is a testament to how easy Apple has made it to add these new features, as iOS 8 has been available to developers for less than a month.
“Extensibility and Touch ID have been pretty easy to implement so far,” Chartier told Cult of Mac. “I wager the majority of the work will be on our end with polishing that integration and the whole user experience.”
When asked if 1Password will be able to work with third-party browsers like Google Chrome on iOS, Chartier said “it largely comes down to those apps using Apple’s native sharing and Extensibility tools so their apps ‘see’ our extension.” So an update to Chrome for iOS 8 could mean that 1Password will work there as well.
These new features for 1Password are still in beta, and they are subject to change as development continues. But regardless, it looks like we’re going to be getting some sweet app updates when iOS 8 launches in the fall.