I rarely get involved with beta testing. It scares me, quite frankly – particularly if the only machine I have to hand is used for work purposes.
You might, therefore, question why on earth I decided to jump into the beta testing phase for 1Password 8 on the Mac. You know, 1Password – the platform I task with storing my most confidential, personal, and important data.
I’m glad I did, though, because the beta test period for 1Password 8 on the Mac was enjoyable, stable, and entirely non-beta-like. The latest version of my favourite password manager for the Mac worked flawlessly and provided me with early access to not only the brand-new user interface but one killer feature I’m finally allowed to tell you about today.
Incidentally, 1Password 8 for the Mac is available as a full, out-of-beta public release today (you can grab a free trial and 25% off your first year of 1Password Families here).
Hello, Universal Autofill!
The team at 1Password have already provided quite a bit of information on the changes Mac users can expect from 1Password, but there’s one new feature they’ve been keeping under wraps.
It’s called Universal Autofill and it is bloody brilliant.
If you’re a regular user of 1Password (or any password manager, for that matter) you’ll be familiar with the need to manually copy and paste login details for app passwords and macOS system prompts. You see, there’s never been a way to call up 1Password and have it automatically complete those login requirements, as it does with websites and web apps.
Until now; Universal Autofill is about to change your world if you’re a Mac user.
This new feature works with native apps and macOS system prompts and finally removes the need to manually copy and paste login details from 1Password.
Here are two examples of how it works:
- Example 1 – the native app: You open Apple Music only to find that you’ve been signed out for some reason. In the past, you’d have to open 1Password, find the correct iCloud login details and copy and paste both the username and password. That’s fiddly and annoying. With Universal Autofill, you just call up Quick Access (SHIFT+COMMAND+SPACE) and hit enter. Bang, done.
- Example 2 – macOS system prompt: You’ve made a change to a system preference and macOS asks for your password to confirm the change. Pre Universal Autofill, you’d have to type it in. How about just hitting COMMAND+\ instead? That’s the ‘OG’ 1Password shortcut for calling up login details which also works with Universal Autofill.
It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider how often we’re asked to re-enter login details these days – right across macOS – it becomes clear how much time will be saved with Univeral Autofill. Certainly, anyone who loves their keyboard shortcuts but who has long wanted the ability to use them more wholesomely for password management will absolutely adore this new feature.
Universal Autofill is, obviously, built with the same security considerations as every 1Password feature, so you’re as safe as you’ve always been. The difference is that 1Password 8 is now woven even deeper into macOS, which is why it’s able to handle multiple login steps with the tap of a keyboard shortcut, no matter which app or system preference you’re in (it’s even aware of the app you’re using, hence the ability to automatically find the correct details in your 1Password vault).
One of the most impressive things about Universal Autofill is that it really does live up to its name. For example, beyond native apps and system prompts, it also works in pretty much any web browser.
1Password users will be familiar with the browser extensions available for the likes of Safari and Chrome. With Universal Autofill, you can now log in to your favourite websites and web apps via the same method described earlier, without the browser extension installed. This doesn’t render the latter redundant, but it will speed up the 1Password setup process for anyone who doesn’t want its additional features.
Universal Autofill even handles one time passcodes and two-factor authentication. For instance, if you’re a regular Zoom user who gets fed up with constant requests to log into your corporate account, 1Password 8 will now happily do the legwork for you by automatically filling in the username, password, and passcode.
Why is Universal Autofill so important?
If you know me by now, you’ll know that I’m far more interested in convenient tech than I am in raw, tear-your-eyeballs-out performance. The latter makes for great headlines and huge benchmark scores, but usually has zero impact on your day-to-day life.
Universal Autofill in 1Password 8 is an example of a feature which is, unfortunately, unlikely to hit the front pages of the tech news, but the impact it has throughout one’s day is immeasurable.
Think about how many times you enter passwords on your Mac for either system prompts, apps, or websites. Hitting COMMAND+\ rather than hunting through 1Password (or any other form of password management) to find the corresponding login details will inevitably shave significant time off this laborious task.
I wrote recently about the importance of the new voice isolation check box in Final Cut Pro. Universal Autofill in 1Password feels just as game-changing as that for me.
When is 1Password 8 for Mac available?
I’ve been playing with the beta for quite some time now, and I absolutely love it. You can find out more about why I use 1Password and the other changes in 1Password 8 for Mac in my recent video overview.
Fancy trying out 1Password? Between now and 15th June 2022, you can get 25% off your first year of 1Password Families. Try it for free here.
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