1Password 8 Mac Early Access Triggers an Early Exit?

1Password 8 could be a turning point for my passwords management needs. What’s coming next is on AgileBits’ fault.

1Password 8 Mac Early Access Triggers an Early Exit?

Another day, another controversy (to get a good summary, head to Michael Tsai’s website. Don’t miss the comments after the summary). This time, behind a visual redesign (which I don’t think is an improvement, btw), it’s about 1Password 8 being converted to an Electron-based app on the Mac.

What is going on with AgileBits, anyway? AgileBits seems to be spreading all over the place in recent years (turning to the corporate market, adding Linux, etc.) which could explain in part what is happening now. I don’t understand a company with a mature codebase built on AppKit since forever, turning to a cross-platform framework like Electron. I mean, it’s not like if they didn’t have a Mac app, right? They do, it’s already supporting Apple silicon too. I guess they didn’t like SwiftUI or Catalyst.

Sure things change, evolve, etc. But, this move is quite surprising to me, to say the least. There is a huge Mac fans base of 1Password, it’s not surprising to see the kind of reactions that we see all over. There are some juicy user reactions following this move announcement on AgileBits community forums.

What makes this Linux release even more amazing is it was created from scratch and developed using new languages and techniques most of our team never used before.

Is this a joke?

To minimize file size and maximize performance, we’re offering separate Apple silicon and Intel builds.

Wow, what an improvement from a user experience perspective. What about a universal bundle? Oh, Electron doesn’t support that?

We have a large Apple dev team and had a parallel SwiftUI codebase being developed for about 6 months. It had some advantages but overall it underperformed on macOS and the UX was worse.

It’s a fucking password manager, not a 3D design app for god’s sake. Come on.

I tried the latest beta (8.2.0-44.BETA) on a 16-core Mac Pro, which you’d think would be powerful enough to handle Electron, but nope. It lags when resizing the window. The scrollbar lags when scrolling through the list (and there’s no overscroll). Site icons and text all pop into view while you’re scrolling because Electron just can’t keep up. It’s visibly, noticeably slower. I don’t understand what the upside of doing this is.

Can’t wait to get the final version.

What a user-hostile move, typical of a company putting its interests at the forefront.

This move by AgileBits makes me reconsider 1Password as my password management solution. I already have a foot in Apple’s passwords management which provides a cross-platform solution anyway (within Apple’s ecosystem). I’ll start to move out, one password at a time. It will take a long time. It won’t be funny. But, too bad. Meanwhile, I’ve turned off 1Password 7 automatic update feature so I won’t move to 1Password 8 as I migrate my passwords.

I guess I’ll have to revisit my recommendation in “A Guide for Preparing to Leave Your Numeric Legacy“.

Turning off automatic updates
Turning off automatic updates

You see, as I go all-in with Apple’s solution for my password management needs, it will be on AgileBits’ fault, not because Apple is preventing fair competition because of its App Store dominant position.