Integration with alternative web browsers

sbaishyasbaishya Junior Member
edited December 1969 in iOS
Because of Mobile Safari's limitations, there seems to be a thriving market in alternative browsers.

Two of the best are iCab Mobile and Atomic Web Browser.

Due to the lack of exposed API's 1Password's integration with Mobile Safari is clunky, so I think there is an opportunity to integrate 1Password with these alternative browsers.

Do you have any plans to do so?
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Comments

  • sbaishyasbaishya Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    stu wrote:
    Hi, sbaishya

    Welcome to the forums! At the moment this isn't something we've looked into, due to the restrictions in how applications can communicate with each other in the current version of iPhone OS. This doesn't mean it's not possible in the future, but for now not something we have the resources to look into. Of course I'll pass your suggestion on to the developers to see if there's something that can be done in the future, but no promises on a timescale.

    Thanks for the feedback though, we really do appreciate it.


    Hi Stu,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I'm not an iPhone developer, so I don't fully understand the restrictions around communication, but there are apps in the App Store that seem to get round this.

    I'm thinking in particular of TextExpander, which allows abbreviations to be expanded into longer snippets of text. The developer has published an SDK that other apps can use.

    To quote their documentation:

    SmileOnMyMac provides the teEngine library for you to build into your iPhone application to provide TextExpander functionality for text entry in your application, subject to the License Agreement below.

    If a user of your application has TextExpander touch installed on their iPhone or iPod touch and has "Share Snippets" turned on under "Snippet Sharing," then TextExpander touch will write its data to a persistent pasteboard on exit, and the teEngine library will be able to access that data from your application.


    I would imagine that a similar approach for 1Password could work, with a library for other developers that can decrypt data from a pasteboard. It's not a million miles away from what you do with the logins bookmarklet.
  • MartySMartyS AgileBits Customer Care (retired)
    edited December 1969
    Less than a million miles you say? Even at 1000 miles we'd be pretty hard pressed to divert our attention from the work we already have started. We do appreciate your interest.
  • HerbertKornfeldHerbertKornfeld Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    I'd just like to throw my support behind this idea, particularly for iCab Mobile. I'd pay up to $10 for a plugin like this. And since I don't think that we'll soon be seeing extensions for Mobile Safari, this could be a killer feature.

    Perhaps it could be made to work as an in-app purchase. 30% to Apple, X% to iCab, and the rest to you guys. Who knows, maybe it'll even get rejected at first. Think of the headlines. Think of the publicity. Think of the truckloads of cash you'll get once it's inevitably approved.

    And I'm no software guru, but this doesn't seem like something that would be prohibitively hard to implement. It's done already in your own embedded browser. Surely, that code can be reused. Work out a deal with iCab, slap together an interface for in-app purchase, and bam.

    I've bought your app four times now, for three different platforms, and I've still got a few bucks left. Make it happen, Agile.
  • MikeTMikeT Agile Samurai

    Team Member
    edited December 1969
    sbaishya wrote:
    Because of Mobile Safari's limitations, there seems to be a thriving market in alternative browsers.

    Two of the best are iCab Mobile and Atomic Web Browser.

    Due to the lack of exposed API's 1Password's integration with Mobile Safari is clunky, so I think there is an opportunity to integrate 1Password with these alternative browsers.

    Do you have any plans to do so?


    Just to make sure because some people aren't aware of this.

    Do you know that 1PW has its own alternative browser built in? You click on the > arrow and it'll load up Safari window for it.
  • Alex/CAlex/C Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    Someone told me about this thread. A note about myself: I'm the developer of iCab Mobile.

    Personally, I would like to have a way iCab and 1Password could communicate with each other on the iPhone and iPad. And I think this would be possible, even if the iOS has many restrictions and limitations. For example apps can call each other with the help of App-specific URL schemes and so they can easily pass data to the other app. This way iCab could easily pass a new login password to 1Password, for example. And the same way 1Password could open a URL in iCab Mobile and also provide the login information at the same time.
    And also the 1Password bookmarklet should be easy to install in iCab Mobile directly from within the 1Password app through app-specific URL schemes.
  • HerbertKornfeldHerbertKornfeld Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    Sounds great. It looks like iCab is at least interested. What say you, Agile?

    And wouldn't it be possible to also push data around through Dropbox. I know that the syncing support isn't quite done yet, but wouldn't it be easier to use a third-party solution like Dropbox to keep everything up-to-date.

    It seems to me, this would provide the best experience for the end user. Instead of passing the user from application to application, I think it would be best if the user could do everything from within the other browser. Login once at the beginning of your session, or when you're first requesting a login, and you'd be set for your entire browsing session.

    And since this, in a way, obviates the use of the 1Password mobile app, that's why I think that it would be important to charge for this integration. Sure, to just look something up or to manage something, you'll still need the 1Password app. But to simply login, you'd be able to do it all from within the new browser.
  • Alex/CAlex/C Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    Though of course it would be possible to use DropBox to exchange data, I think it would be better to keep the data within the device and don't try to save the passwords "outside". Passwords are too important to save them in places where you don't have full control over them.
  • invictus26invictus26 Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    I'd like to offer my support behind this also. I just emailed the developer of Atomic Web Browser today about it, and he said he'd look into it. I think this is a great opportunity for collaboration. This would finally make my mobile browsing experience equivalent to the desktop. Right now, I shy away from using my iPhone or iPad browser because I know I'll probably end up on a site I need to log into. And although 1Password touch makes it fairly easy to get to my passwords, it's still an annoyance. Please work on supporting this. Thanks
  • MikeTMikeT Agile Samurai

    Team Member
    edited June 2010
    Alex/C wrote:
    Someone told me about this thread. A note about myself: I'm the developer of iCab Mobile.

    Personally, I would like to have a way iCab and 1Password could communicate with each other on the iPhone and iPad. And I think this would be possible, even if the iOS has many restrictions and limitations. For example apps can call each other with the help of App-specific URL schemes and so they can easily pass data to the other app. This way iCab could easily pass a new login password to 1Password, for example. And the same way 1Password could open a URL in iCab Mobile and also provide the login information at the same time.
    And also the 1Password bookmarklet should be easy to install in iCab Mobile directly from within the 1Password app through app-specific URL schemes.


    Can you guys transfer this information securely?
  • JBBJBB Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    @Alex, developer of iCab Mobile: the bookmarklet doesn't work in iCab Mobile yet, right? I think you said it was a bug that was going to get fixed really soon. I hope it does.

    I do know that TextExpander has a way of letting other apps use its core functionality on iOS and it would be great for 1Password to do the same with some of the alternative browsers. iCab Mobile is a really good one.
  • Alex/CAlex/C Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    JBB wrote:
    @Alex, developer of iCab Mobile: the bookmarklet doesn't work in iCab Mobile yet, right? I think you said it was a bug that was going to get fixed really soon. I hope it does.


    The bookmarklet itself works fine in iCab Mobile. But because 1Password saves it only in Safari, you would have to import the bookmarks from Safari in iCab and here there are some issues. Safari messes up quote characters within the Bookmarklet when exporting and iCab has a problem when importing very long bookmarklets (this is fixed in the next release).
  • JBBJBB Junior Member
    edited December 1969
    Please let us know when this new release comes out, and a process by which we can get that bookmarklet into iCab. I tried simply copy and pasting in iOS but wasn't aware if what broke down is the bug in iCab that you say is fixed in the next release, and/or the Safari quote issue you now mention.
  • Is an integration of 1password possible in Opera mini for iOS 4.0.2?
  • stu wrote:

    Unfortunately, as far as we're aware, Opera Mini doesn't have any form of plugin support and so we couldn't integrate 1Password into the app right now.

    iOS is very different in terms of browser plugins to both OS X and Windows, and while I know iCab Mobile has support for plugins we'd need to look at this closely before proceeding.

    Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.



    many thanks for your answer :-)
  • jpgoldbergjpgoldberg Agile Customer Care

    Team Member
    edited October 2010
    One thing that I'd like to emphasize is that there are some big constraints on iOS. Because apps on iOS can't freely talk to one another or share data, we would need to build a completely separate instance of 1Password to work with iCab or any other browser. It would need to have its own, separate, copy of your 1Password data.

    This means that the iCab mini plug-in would need its own separate copy of your data (which would have to be synchronized), as would an Opera mini plug-in or any other 1Password plug-in.

    Clearly we would love to piggy-back on the work of browser developers and just plug into what they have already developed. Unfortunately that is much harder to do than it might first appear.

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the constraints on iOS apps sharing data is a good security and stability move on Apple's part even if they do prevent us from doing things we would really like to do.

    I hope that this at least clarifies the situation.

    Cheers,

    -j
  • edited October 2010
    jpgoldberg wrote:

    One thing that I'd like to emphasize is that there are some big constraints on iOS. Because apps on iOS can't freely talk to one another or share data, we would need to build a completely separate instance of 1Password for work with iCab or any other browser. It would need to have its own, separate, copy of your 1Password data.

    This means that the iCab mini plug-in would need its own separate copy of your data (which would have to be synchronized), as would an Opera mini plug-in or any other 1Password plug-in.

    Clearly we would love to piggy-back on the work of browser developers and just plug into what they have already developed. Unfortunately that is much harder to do than it might first appear.

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the constraints on iOS apps sharing data is a good security and stability move on Apple's part even if they do prevent us from doing things we would really like to do.

    I hope that this at least clarifies the situation.

    Cheers,

    -j


    I have just registered to the forum to post this. I completely understand the iOS restrictions and agree with both sides of the discussion. So, my approach would be something like this:

    1) 1Password for iPhone would have a "export to iCab" option.
    2) Due to the sandboxing restrictions, I don't think there would be a common folder that both apps can get access to.
    3) So, in the worst scenario, this option would post a file to the iTunes File Sharing folder (documents folder within 1P)
    4) Users could open iTunes, and copy the file to the iCab FileSharing folder
    5) iCab would then have a "import 1Password file" that would add the itens to its form's library.
    6) Of course, for this to work well both apps should have an id and last modified date for each item. Encryption also recommended.

    This is not a sync or real-time solution, but at least I could have those hundreds of passwords easily shared among my Mac, 1Password iPhone and iCab.

    What do you think?

    Cheers,
    Mr. Milk
  • jjk454ssjjk454ss Junior Member
    edited October 2010
    Icab can import bookmarks from your Dropbox account, could you use the same 1password file that you use to sync your passwords between your Mac and your iPhone/iPad, to sync passwords to icab? Just another option to maybe make something work?
  • khadkhad Social Choreographer

    Team Member
    Thanks for the suggestion, jjk454ss. There are security considerations to take into account with your 1Password data that do not necessarily affect bookmark syncing, but that is a possible starting point. :-) Essentially, a third-party browser would have to have a pretty sizable portion of the 1Password code built into it in order to integrate smoothly.

    We never say "never," but for the time being, we are focused on 1Password's built-in browser. Who knows what the future may hold?
  • jjk454ssjjk454ss Junior Member
    khad wrote:

    Thanks for the suggestion, jjk454ss. There are security considerations to take into account with your 1Password data that do not necessarily affect bookmark syncing, but that is a possible starting point. :-) Essentially, a third-party browser would have to have a pretty sizable portion of the 1Password code built into it in order to integrate smoothly.

    We never say "never," but for the time being, we are focused on 1Password's built-in browser. Who knows what the future may hold?


    Sounds good. A built in browser would be a great way to go, Unfortunately the current built in browser just doesn't have enough functionality. The primary feature it needs is bookmarks, for me I needs the bookmarks bar, and a way to sync bookmarks from your Mac or PC. And also some sort of tabs, I like the way mobile Safari handles tabs myself. Add these to simple features and I could see using it much more often.

    Thanks
  • khadkhad Social Choreographer

    Team Member
    Thanks for the support and further suggestions. I myself am looking forward to some future improvements to the built-in browser! :-)

    We at Agile are users ourselves first and foremost.

    Cheers!
  • HendelHendel Junior Member
    Came here to ask exactly this question, whether there was a way for 1Password bookmarklets to work with iCab. I'm able (or at least I think I am) to export all of my bookmarks from desktop Safari, including the 1Password bookmarklet, to Dropbox and then to import them into iCab on my iPad. It shows up in the bookmark list there with the rest, but trying to access it does nothing.

    Do I understand correctly from this thread that the bookmarklet is not self-contained, but refers back to stored data segregated by iOS as belonging to Mobile Safari, and thus inaccessible to iCab (or any other alternate browser)? No fix/workaround likely?

    1Password is one of my absolutely essential apps, regardless, and now that iOS supports cut/paste and task switching, the bookmarklet isn't the lifesaving feature it once was. But it's still damned convenient, and about the only reason I still use Mobile Safari.
  • robrob Agile Customer Care

    Team Member
    edited December 2010
    Hendel wrote:

    Do I understand correctly from this thread that the bookmarklet is not self-contained, but refers back to stored data segregated by iOS as belonging to Mobile Safari, and thus inaccessible to iCab (or any other alternate browser)? No fix/workaround likely?


    The Logins Bookmarklet, the one that pops up a grey box in Mobile Safari asking for your access code, is self-contained, and it seems it should work with the iCab browser if you can get it imported correctly. If something changes the bookmarklet, though, it could easily be rendered unusable.

    Personally, I either use fast app switching to switch to 1Password and switch back, or I just use 1Password's built-in browser. We've got several things planned for the built-in browser that I think will make it even more attractive to users, but I can't tell you yet. :-)
  • Alex/CAlex/C Junior Member
    khad wrote:

    Essentially, a third-party browser would have to have a pretty sizable portion of the 1Password code built into it in order to integrate smoothly.


    I don't think that this is really necessary. You already have this self-contained bookmarklet, which contains all the login passwords and some javascript code which implements the encryption stuff to keep the passwords within the bookmarklet secure. And a browser like iCab Mobile is only interested in login passwords, so why not using a "stripped-down" version of the bookmarklet to ask a browser like iCab mobile to open a web page and fill out the login form. Using a custom URL scheme you can pass the URL of the web page, the crypto-code from the bookmarklet and the excrypted passwords and login data to the browser. The browser can then open the web page, execute the JavaScript crypto code to fill out the form (just like the browser would execute the bookmarklet).

    The advantage:
    - the browser does not need to have any code from 1Password built-in.
    - You can change the (JavaScript) crypto code at any time
    - You don't need to re-invent the "wheel", just reuse the core code from the bookmarklet
    - While the boomarklet needs to be updated whenever new passwords are saved in 1Password, there's no need to update anything here, because passwords are not stored outside of 1Password.
    - Transfering data to the browser like iCab Mobile is as secure as using the bookmarklet. And it seems you have no problems with the security of the passwords within the bookmarklet.
    - Because all the excryption code remains in your hand, you don't have to worry about bad/buggy implementations in other Apps.

    I'm the developer of iCab Mobile, so if you want to try this out, just send me an email. I'd be happy if I could send you a test version of iCab which would respond to such a custom URL scheme mentioned above.
  • khadkhad Social Choreographer

    Team Member
    Thanks for the interest, Alex! I have passed this along to our developers who will be in touch if this is a direction we want to explore. :-)
  • revsrevs Junior Member
    I think the 'best' solution, and (probably) the one Agile would agree with most from a security standpoint is to flesh out the 1Password browser thats built into the app.

    My preference would be for 1Password to have a 'browser' mode, i.e. you launch it and its straight into a browser. Then when you need a password, it then prompts for the master password.

    Seems like LastPass have gone this route too: http://lifehacker.com/5747647/lastpass-for-iphone-and-ipad-autofill-your-passwords-through-their-own-browser

    That way you could use 1Password as your browser app (replacing Safari) (OT: I do hope one day we can set default Browser/Mail apps in iOS!)
  • khadkhad Social Choreographer

    Team Member
    edited February 2011
    ;)
  • revsrevs Junior Member
    khad wrote:

    ;)


    got it B)
  • Alex/CAlex/C Junior Member
    revs wrote:

    That way you could use 1Password as your browser app (replacing Safari) (OT: I do hope one day we can set default Browser/Mail apps in iOS!)


    But this would only work if the 1Password browser would be blown up to a full featured browser which can be compared to iCab Mobile, Atomic and a few others. Otherwise all the users using alternative browsers at the moment would still ask for an integration with their browser. In fact, you don't have to replace Safari, you have to replace full featured browsers like iCab Mobile or Atomic, if this should work.

    I think, the best solution would be still to let the user choose their preferred browser, and 1Password should use the "bookmarklet" approach (see me suggestion from above) to pass the login information to these browsers. I would be the first to implement everything that is necessary for this in iCab Mobile (but I think there's not much to do at all). And I think other authors of alternative browsers would follow as well. On the 1Password side there's probably also not much that needs to be done to get this working, because the self-contained bookmarklet is already available and can be probably reused very easy. I do have some ideas how this can be done very easy and flexible. If you're interested, just let me know.
  • MikeTMikeT Agile Samurai

    Team Member
    edited February 2011
    Hi Alex,

    As Khad mentioned, we did pass the word to the team about this and we’ll look into this. We’re not saying it’s never going to happen.

    At the moment, we are more focused on the bulit-in browser because it provides us with additional security protections such as the anti-phishing feature and other features that we might add in the future. The built-in browser provides us with a lot more power that a self-contained bookmarklet can’t give.

    Certainly, it could be possible we’d go two ways, one with our built-in browser and a self-contained bookmarklet for a possible integration with alternative browsers in the future.

    Anything is possible.

    As to what we’ll do, that I can not comment on.
  • jjk454ssjjk454ss Junior Member
    MikeT wrote:

    Hi Alex,

    As Khad mentioned, we did pass the word to the team about this and we’ll look into this. We’re not saying it’s never going to happen.

    At the moment, we are more focused on the bulit-in browser because it provides us with additional security protections such as the anti-phishing feature and other features that we might add in the future. The built-in browser provides us with a lot more power that a self-contained bookmarklet can’t give.

    Certainly, it could be possible we’d go two ways, one with our built-in browser and a self-contained bookmarklet for a possible integration with alternative browsers in the future.

    Anything is possible.

    As to what we’ll do, that I can not comment on.


    Can't wait for a better built in browser, if you need beta testers, let me know;). I want in.
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