It’s been a tricky couple of weeks for 1Password.

Following the announcement of its latest software update for macOS, the company has been inundated with complaints from its loyal customer base.

They’re concerned about two significant changes that will signal the arrival of 1Password 8 (which is currently in beta testing). The first was the decision to move to the Electron framework, which will be the new underpinning for the macOS version.

Poor battery life, memory leaks, and a less than stellar desktop experience were concerns immediately levelled at the 1Password team.

The other bone of contention related to the commercials for 1Password 8, which will switch to an entirely subscription-based pricing model. That means users will no longer be able to purchase 1Password outright, as they have done for many years.

Several Reddit threads and angry Twitter outbursts later, and it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for the team behind this undoubtedly fantastic password manager.

Where did it all go so wrong?

What’s really going on?

My original article on the 1Password 8 announcement has taken off like a rocket ship. In fact, it reached so far into the depths of the internet that 1Password co-founder, Roustem Karimov, decided to wade in.

He made a very good point, to be fair.

“In this article, <Mark> recommends an alternative app but is based on Electron,” he pointed out on Twitter.

Erm. Oops. He’s right; my suggestion that NordPass might be a worthy alternative to 1Password 8 failed to take into account that it too was based on Electron.

But here’s the rub: we’re living in an Electron-driven app universe these days – you’ve probably used one today yourself.

I wanted to know more, and after a short email exchange, I managed to convince Roustem to join me on my YouTube channel for a chat. He brought along his colleague and Browser Experience Lead, Andrew Beyer, to offer some deeper technical insight.

“1Password 8 has been one of our biggest projects so far,” explained Roustem. “We’re trying to make 1Password the best app on each platform.”

Watch the interview

“It’s a complete rewrite, there was no code that was copied over,” said Andrew when I quizzed him about what makes 1Password 8 different.

“Nobody should do this. Nobody should rewrite their apps – it’s a big challenge. But what we’ve got out of this is the ability to make some of those core fundamental changes that we need to propel us into the future.”

Sounds exciting, right? And it really was a fascinating interview. They were incredibly accommodating and there was no PR pressure; I wasn’t asked to send my questions over before the interview, and they clearly just wanted the opportunity to tell their side of the story.

Which is exactly what happened.

A shortened version of the interview is now live on my YouTube channel, which you can watch below. But if you’d like to see the full version, make sure you sign up to my newsletter, because I’ll be sending it to my email subscribers next week!

In the interview, I seek answers on:

  • what makes 1Password 8 special;
  • why they chose Electron;
  • battery life concerns;
  • what this means for 1Password 7; and
  • the switch to subscription only.