iOS Restrictions App Rating 17+ [1Browser: built-in browser mandates this App Store rating]

kholinarkholinar Junior Member
edited June 2017 in iOS

Hello,

First of all, thank you for the tremendous application. I have been Using 1Password since version 2 on the Mac. It's been an amazing help to myself and my family, and I've recommended it to my friends and my coworkers.

I recently updated 1Password and found that it had disappeared from some devices. The reason for this is that parental controls on some of our family devices are setup to only allow +12 applications (to avoid apps like Tumblr, Reddit, etc. that easily access content that we want to avoid).

I have moved to a family account trial (and I intend to subscribe regardless), so that I can access my information through the web on iOS devices, but we lost the share sheet ability that really matters most to me.

I would love to see a solution that would allow installation of the app on devices with parental restrictions on apps with 17+ ratings, or that would allow me to easily use 1Password in a way that's similar to the native share sheet. (As a side not that I know no one else here controls, I've never understood why an in-app browser would contribute to the rating of an app 1) because most every app that's not a game has one, and 2) because the other parental controls will easily limit the content that can be accessed.)

Any advice/suggestions/plans for the future would be helpful.

Thanks,
William


1Password Version: 6.7.1
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: iOS 10.3.2
Sync Type: Not Provided

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Comments

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited June 2017

    @kholinar: Likewise, thank you for your support, and the kind words — especially under the circumstances. When we heard from Apple that the rating would be increased if we continued offering the built-in browser, we were dismayed as we knew this day would come.

    I'm really sorry you and your loved ones are affected by this. It's something we've pursued, but it's Apple's App Store, and they need to do what they believe is best for that. The only options we have are to keep 1Browser and have a 17+ rating, or remove it and get a less restrictive one. Frankly, there are those here at AgileBits and probably the 1Password user base who would be totally okay with that tradeoff, losing 1Browser, but a lot of folks (myself included, honestly) use 1Browser every day and would hate to lose it. Either way hurts people, and that sucks.

    So, for the time being at least, we've opted to not remove functionality from 1Password for iOS and take the rating. It's something we'll continue to consider though, and who knows, maybe Apple will change their policies in the future, or offer some new technology which allows us to have it both ways. I wish I had a more positive note to end on, but I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us about this. Thanks for your honest feedback. :blush:

  • kholinarkholinar Junior Member

    @brenty : Thank you. I understand, and I wouldn't expect (or even want) features to be removed from the entire userbase for my use case.

    This is one area where I wish there was a little more granularity. I've used news and podcasts apps where this became an issue. The ability to whitelist the occasional app, or to turn off all in-app browsers (if someone even wants that) would make more sense to me from a user perspective (the same as one might for websites).

    Thanks again.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Agreed completely. :) Fingers crossed for more granularity in parental controls, or one of the other possible solutions Brenty mentioned above.

    It is really disheartening to have to move 1Password for iOS to a 17+ rating, especially considering how valuable we feel 1Password Families is, but at this point it was the least of two evils.

    It should still be possible to access 1Password.com through Safari on iOS, though understandably that is not as convenient as having the app.

    Ben

  • I believe there could be a simple solution to this.

    Is it possible to have two apps? One with the browser and one without? The one without can have the reduced rating which would satisfy Apple and 1Password Family users with younger members.

    Alan

  • I made my daughter "17" with Apple when she was 15 or so to get around this. Now with Apple Family Sharing, you can do this, and make it so a child has to be approved to get any app.

    Just an idea.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member
    edited June 2017

    Alan,

    While what you've outlined would resolve the issue, it really is not a "simple" solution. Maintaining two separate apps with different code bases and keeping them both up to date would require a significant amount of work. It isn't something we're in a position to do right now. That said, we do certainly appreciate the feedback. I don't want you to think we're simply brushing this idea aside. It is something we've contemplated.

    And thanks for sharing prime. That may be an acceptable soluton for some folks. :)

    Ben

  • That's a good idea prime. Although does 1Browser have the ability to restrict websites like the Apple restrictions?

    Ben, as a software developer myself, I am surprised at your answer.

    For a start I didn't say the solution was simple, I said it could be simple. I chose my words carefully as I know different companies have different systems in place and different code (including legacy). What may be simple for one code base may not be simple in another. I appreciate that.

    Secondly, I would never think of anyone keeping two code bases, that would be maintenance nightmare, and so a really strange view of having a second restricted app. It is this bit I am most surprised about as this would not be a solution I would have had for implementing two similar apps with practically identical code but with one (or more) feature(s) hidden/disabled.

    Anyway, thank you for considering the idea, and I hope you continue to find solutions for this issue.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    That's a good idea prime. Although does 1Browser have the ability to restrict websites like the Apple restrictions?

    @alanhowells: I love the ideas coming out of this discussion! That's not a bad one. App Store ratings are unfortunately all-or-nothing. There's no way for us to work with Parental Controls to let 1Password function by disabling 1Browser on the fly. :(

    Anyway, having two versions in the App Store would be much more simple for us than for users. I think that's what Ben was getting at.

    We actually used to have multiple 1Password apps in the App Store. At the very least, we had 1Password Touch, which was an iPhone-only app; an iPad counterpart, once that was introduced; and 1Password Pro, which was a Universal app for folks who wanted to purchase once for both iPad and iPhone. I think it's fair to count that as two, since either an iPad or iPhone would only see two apps when searching the store, but some customers (myself included) ended up with all three after purchasing the iPhone version, the iPad version, and then the Universal app. Confusing to say the least. And that was version 3, so eventually we had 1Password 4 in the App Store as well. I do not recall how many apps we ended up with there when this was launched, but again it would have been at least two (since we couldn't pull the old version completely when people were using it).

    What I'm rambling toward is that multiple apps was really bad for our customers. No matter what, there are questions like "Which Apple ID did I use to purchase it?", but multiple apps meant people had trouble figuring out which one they should buy, or install if they'd already bought it. And some folks would install more than one, keeping separate data in each, at best, having trouble finding their data, and at worst, deleting the wrong one and losing their data permanently. Since we moved to a single app a few years ago, it's been a lot easier for people.

    Anyway, thank you for considering the idea, and I hope you continue to find solutions for this issue.

    Likewise, thanks for your feedback on this. There isn't a good solution currently, but perhaps that will change in time. :blush:

  • Thanks for your detailed reply @brenty, I am a fairly new user to 1Password (so only have had version 6 on my iPhone), so excuse my lack of background knowledge.

    I totally get the confusion multiple apps could produce, but (playing devils advocate here :-) ), I have a number of apps that work together. For example, Barclays (a mobile banking app) and Pingit (one of the first apps to send money to mobile numbers in the UK - probably soon to be defunct with other ways of doing that now) know if you use the other app and can swap between the two.

    Likewise, all Google apps have similar functionality when signing in, they know you have signed in on another app. So is there a way to have shared data across apps?

    Anyway I am fixating on a solution of two apps. It was the first idea I came up with. I suspect that there is a better way.

    How about adding controls to individual users on your family account so that the administrator can enable/disable features (like 1Browser) for particular users in their family account. The app could then hide the button if the user has that option disabled?

    That way you can combine primes solution with those who would like to restrict websites (by disabling 1Browser and using the restrictions on Safari).

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited June 2017

    Thanks for your detailed reply @brenty, I am a fairly new user to 1Password (so only have had version 6 on my iPhone), so excuse my lack of background knowledge.

    @alanhowells: No excuse necessary. We're here to help! And I don't mind the opportunity to yak about this stuff anyway. I find it fascinating. :lol:

    I totally get the confusion multiple apps could produce, but (playing devils advocate here :-) ), I have a number of apps that work together. For example, Barclays (a mobile banking app) and Pingit (one of the first apps to send money to mobile numbers in the UK - probably soon to be defunct with other ways of doing that now) know if you use the other app and can swap between the two. Likewise, all Google apps have similar functionality when signing in, they know you have signed in on another app. So is there a way to have shared data across apps?

    I know there are others I use myself, but can't think of them off the top of my head, so I appreciate the examples. Ultimately what it comes down to is that 1Password is a very different kind of app. Because of our strict security model (we're taking full advantage of what iOS has to offer), we are limited in a few ways when it comes to interoperability. I'm not suggesting those apps are insecure, only that they're very different, accessing data securely over the network. Obviously 1Password can do this too, but at it's core 1Password is built to store and protect data locally.

    Anyway I am fixating on a solution of two apps. It was the first idea I came up with. I suspect that there is a better way. How about adding controls to individual users on your family account so that the administrator can enable/disable features (like 1Browser) for particular users in their family account. The app could then hide the button if the user has that option disabled? That way you can combine primes solution with those who would like to restrict websites (by disabling 1Browser and using the restrictions on Safari).

    It's a really cool idea, but again, the App Store doesn't work that way. If the app has a built-in browser, even one that can be disabled, it requires a 17+ rating. It may be technically possible to pull this off, but doing so would be skirting App Store policy...and that's a great way to get kicked out of the App Store completely. In that case, everyone loses.

    However, you touched on something that I'd meant to mention earlier but slipped my mind: 1Password.com accounts. With 1Password.com accounts, the Pro features are granted by our server as part of the membership. So someone wouldn't have to worry about installing the "wrong" 1Password app and miss out on the Pro upgrade (because they'd purchased the other app with their Apple ID) — they simply sign in to their 1Password.com account and it's all taken care of. Now, that isn't feasible since not everyone has a 1Password.com account. They haven't been around for much more than a year, so anyone who had purchased the Pro upgrade specifically in 1Password for iOS would be negatively impacted. But you're right that 1Password.com could help problems like this go away someday. Cheers! :)

  • @brenty Oh sorry, I wasn't suggesting trying to reduce the 17+ rating, nor reducing functionality for normal 1Password accounts.

    I meant users can use prime's solution to get around the 17+ rating (https://discussions.agilebits.com/discussion/comment/375968/#Comment_375968) and have the ability to turn off the browser in the app for family users via an administrator account. That way the administrator for the family account can restrict the use of the 1Browser for certain users (all of whom would be pro users), which would all be done by your servers as part of the membership.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @alanhowells: No need to apologize. Just trying to cover all the bases.

    But...ohhh, yeah you're right, I misunderstood. Just to summarize and make sure I actually do understand this time (and for the benefit of anyone else reading this discussion), prime said:

    I made my daughter "17" with Apple when she was 15 or so to get around this. Now with Apple Family Sharing, you can do this, and make it so a child has to be approved to get any app.

    This could be used to allow them to install and use the 1Password app (since it has a 17+ rating), and then you're proposing that we make a way to disable 1Browser from within a 1Password Families account:

    have the ability to turn off the browser in the app for family users via an administrator account. That way the administrator for the family account can restrict the use of the 1Browser for certain users (all of whom would be pro users), which would all be done by your servers as part of the membership.

    That's really interesting. It's a bit convoluted, but it's something that we can consider. I don't think we want to encourage people to misrepresent ages, but regardless of age I can imagine that some folks may want to disable 1Browser anyway. Sort of a...reverse Pro Feature... :lol:

    I guess my concern would be that this would allow people to install 1Password, but would also make other parental controls based on the age not work properly. I don't have enough experience to be sure, but wouldn't the user be able to simply use Safari instead? /cc @Ben @prime

  • I know with family sharing now, parents can set it up so they have to approve any app that a child wants to download, no matter the age. There wasn't family sharing yet for Apple when I did this, but my daughter knew if she did something she shouldn't, I would find out. I have in the past ;)

    I felt teaching my daughter about security at a young age was important, so why I did this. It's never too to young to learn.

    To change the age, you have to go to appleid.com to do this.

  • @brenty: I think you have it

    but wouldn't the user be able to simply use Safari instead

    I think you can restrict websites via their restrictions settings. Which was the point really, to restrict a users access to Safari only browsers to use Apples restriction settings. Which is why you have the 17+ rating as it circumvents Apples website restriction settings.

  • @brenty and @alanhowells you can remove safari in the restrictions on any iOS device.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Also a good point, prime. :)

    Ben

  • I think the 17+ rating is appropriate for 1Password as it does have a full unrestricted browser. Even if apple were to release fine-grained restrictions that permitted 1Password on restricted devices, the issue would still be that it has a browser that has full access to the internet without an ability to whitelist websites or install content filters. This makes the 1Password apps unusable for families with children/teenagers.

    I'm currently using the website version of 1Password for restricted devices as a work around, but it's not formatted well for mobile.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks for the feedback, @jcypret. :)

    Ben

  • kholinarkholinar Junior Member

    My problem with this category is that 1password and all other programs with in-app browsers honor parental controls (categories as well as whitelists). So if I want to restrict web access, I can easily do so in Safari and all other apps. So, unless I want to block all browsers, I’m fine.

    To be clear, I’m good with Apple cracking down on most of these categories. Reddit, tumblr, and twitter apps have been places where anyone could view any kind of content without restrictions for years. This shouldn’t have been the case. But to remove functionality for all users so that a few users can block all browser access seems to be a horrible compromise. Adding a button that turned off access to in-app browsers would have retained functionality for everyone else while adding functionality for the rest of us.

    I’m very frustrated with this. The 1password online accounts make up for this somewhat, but, in the end, it makes a lot of situations more painful for users.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    We're not keen on the situation either, @kholinar. Hopefully Apple will give us a better solution so the app doesn't have to be 17+ in the future.

    Ben

  • Hi, I also would like to see 1Password to get a Age Restriction of 4+.
    I have two children 11 and 13. And I have activated the parental restrictions on their iOS devices. So they can not load Apps rated 17+.
    Also the Safari Browsers perental control settings are activated on their devices.

    The problem is the browser that comes with 1Password. I assume that your browser does not respect the restrictions with can be set for safari on iOS. This results in the 17+ rating.

    The guys making iPin had the same problem. They iPin App was also rated 17+ but they managed it to make their integrated browser respecting the restriction settings for safari. I think they are using the safari engine for their browser as well, and implemented the restrictions. Since this change in their browers the App is rated 4+.

    As I like 1Passwords look and feel and handling much more, it would be my first choise password vault for my kids.
    But with the 17+ rating, they can not install it. and the missing localisation for german language is also a problem. this was promised moths ago, but is still not available.

    regards

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks for the feedback @JMcClane72!

    Ben

  • @JMcClane72 I would remove the restrictions and just use the family sharing. With family sharing, you can make it so you have to approve all apps that they want. I set this up for my sister and her kids, and works like a charm.

  • @prime thanks for your reply.
    we already use family sharing and you are right, the approval system works very well.
    but if I remove the age restriction, I need to look on the request more detailed.
    and I will have a lot of discussions if I reject an app.

  • @JMcClane72 sometimes looking at apps more is probably safer. I remembered letting my daughter get apps, then finding out later they were not good. Some had built in chat rooms and got her into trouble. Just because the rating is “safe” (ok for under 13 or 17 years) doesn’t mean they are good for our children to use.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Unless/until Apple changes their policy or adds new features that would allow us to work around this... prime’s suggestion is likely the best solution.

    Thanks.

    Ben

  • @Ben my sister thought this was going to be an issue, but it made her learn about apps. After the 1st set up for her kids phones, it’s only once a month, if that, the kids download a new app. She knows what to look for, and she will sit down with her kid explaining why an app might not be good at that time. If she says no, she’ll download it herself and check it out.

    These days parents need all the help they can get.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    I don't have personal experience with this so I won't comment on the finer details, but that sounds like a reasonable approach to me. :)

    Ben

  • yes, your a re right. to have a closer look to what kids do with their devices is always a good idea.

    But that an app with an build in browser gets a 17+ rating is not only depending on apples policies.
    As I explained above, the app "iPin", which is also a password manager and has also a build in browser, has a rating of 4+, after they changed the behaviour of their browser.

  • primeprime
    edited September 2017

    @JMcClane72 a lot of people who use 1Password rely on that feature. I love it personally. I think the benefit of using the iCloud family share outweighs the restrictions far more. With the subscription, so easy to reset my daughters 1Password, and to share passwords. I can also share passwords that she can’t edit. Using another app for the kids, you can’t do these things.

    @Ben how about adding a parent restriction on the 1Password app itself. Like a parent can set a 4 digit PIN to lock out certain features? Just an idea :D

    I think the fact a kid can go on the browser and have at it with everything might be an issue with some parents. I can actually lock access to Safari on my daughters phone with a PIN, but if she has 1Password, she has access to a web browser again.

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