Friday, July 12, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Local 1Password iOS Vaults No Longer Free

gross (via Hacker News):

I have a workflow where I use 1Password on my phone - locally, no sync, do not want sync, can not use sync. Obviously this is not my main way of using 1Password, which I have been using now since 2011, mostly on Mac and iOS.

On that phone, I often remove 1Password and reinstall it. The last time I did this was a few weeks ago, likely running 7.3.1 or 7.3.2.

Today, I needed to urgently do this again, and I reinstalled 1Password to realize the new onboarding screen does not seem to let me configure my local vault at all.

I looked at release notes - all I can see is that 7.3.1 had improvements to standalone vault syncing, which seems to mean standalone vaults still work, and 7.3.3 reduced the size of the app by 27%.

Ben:

I’m sorry for the trouble. 1Password no longer offers a free-to-use option on iOS. It can either be used with a 1Password membership account or it can be synced to a standalone vault created by 1Password for Mac or 1Password for Windows. It wouldn’t be possible to create a new standalone vault from 1Password for iOS. Standalone vaults still work, but must be created by a licensed product (1Password for Mac or 1Password for Windows).

It seems pretty reasonable to disallow free creation of vaults. But it does reduce the utility of the app for those of us who don’t want to use the cloud service, because there’s no longer a way to pay for the iOS app without subscribing to the service.

The other issue this story highlights is that app updates aren’t handled well on iOS. Chances are that you’ll get silently updated to the new version—and in this case the change wasn’t called out in the release notes, anyway—and there’s no way to go back or even to restore from backup. So you can never be sure that a feature you depend on won’t suddenly disappear or break.

haaf:

Perhaps one could split the arguments in this thread into two categories; 1) forcing payment for some features is frustrating when it was free before, 2) stand-alone vault synchronisation features are disappearing because AgileBits thinks it’s more secure and more convenient to work via 1P-accounts.

As a five year old customer of both personal and company plans, I also see the disappearance of stand-alone synchronisation as a negative. I’ve brought it up with customer support and sales on multiple occasions.

Unfortunately, the outcome of those conversations is always similar to this thread.

ken:

One thing I’ve learned about software in general is that I never want to be outside of the primary use case. If you’re not using it the same way that the people building it do, it’s going to be a pain to use, and your requests will be ignored.

“Ignored” is probably too strong here, but the overall point is sound. This is also why people get uneasy about Apple dropping certain types of hardware and adding impediments to automation workflows. Even if it’s technically still possible to do what you could do before, everything becomes more difficult and less supported when you’re on a niche path.

Previously:

Update (2019-07-19): See also: Reddit.

MrRooni:

I am sorry that we removed a feature that some of you rely on for your workflow and I’m sorry we didn’t communicate its removal. In all honesty I assumed it would go mostly unnoticed. I figured that existing customers already have 1Password setups that are working for them, so no one would miss it. And really, why draw attention to the removal of a feature that shouldn’t really affect anyone anyway?

Clearly I missed the mark on this one.

[…]

I also want to touch briefly on why this feature was removed. For better or worse, a good chunk of the answer comes down to how we want 1Password viewed as a product among the field of other password managers. Prior to this change 1Password would frequently appear on the list of the “best free password managers” and while that’s flattering, it’s not where we want to be. 1Password is a paid product, and prior to today 1Password for iOS was the only 1Password app on any platform that could be used entirely for free. That is no longer the case. Another large reason why we removed this feature was that an unsynced vault on an iOS device is a dangerous thing. We receive enough customer support from people who set up 1Password in this way and then lose their device and lose everything that we wanted to take a very deliberate step in removing the possibility that people could find themselves in that state.

Tim Hardwick:

The good news is that 1Password has listened to user feedback, and the latest update, v7.3.4, restores the ability to create standalone vaults from setup to customers who had previously purchased 1Password 4 for iOS or the Pro Features in-app purchase.

However, for new users at least, there’s no longer any way to use the password management service without subscribing to a paid plan.

8 Comments

> This is also why people get uneasy about Apple dropping certain types of hardware and adding impediments to automation workflows. Even if it’s technically still possible to do what you could do before, everything becomes more difficult and less supported when you’re on a niche path.

Oh, this nicely captures how I've felt about Apple things for a while now, but didn't have quite the right words. Thank you!

Per the 7.3.4 1Password release notes:

FIXED: Restored the ability to create standalone vaults from setup to customers who had previously purchased 1Password 4 for iOS or the Pro Features in-app purchase.

https://app-updates.agilebits.com/product_history/OPI4#v70304000

[…] Local 1Password iOS Vaults No Longer Free.  The important part is the last quote.  (via) […]

It's a shame not to be able to purchase a stand-alone license anymore. I don't want to use the 1p-infrastructure at all, so why pay for it? And yes, I want to sync multiple vaults. Maybe there could be other pricing options too? Currently, I cannot recommend 1p to friends anymore.

Why not go back to the previous system where the customer for a small fee purchases each of 1password for Mac. Windows, iOS, Android and it all works perfectly but then every 2 to 3 years release a new version with great additions where existing customers will also have to purchase the new version for the extra features. People will be far happier giving their money for this model than the stupid new fashion of monthly subscriptions as they all add up ! The way its going, they will be selling us a monthly subscription to go to the toilet soon !

@Pete that's literally what a water bill is.

Sören Nils Kuklau

Why not go back to the previous system where the customer for a small fee purchases each of 1password for Mac. Windows, iOS, Android and it all works perfectly but then every 2 to 3 years release a new version with great additions where existing customers will also have to purchase the new version for the extra features.

Because that model isn’t sustainable any more. It arguably never really was (consumer software has a long history of pricing issues), but it especially isn’t in today’s world.

(And 1Password is a particularly clear example of this, as it’s in a constant cat-and-mouse security game.)

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