iOS, iCloud vault and background syncing

I just wanted to start this question by saying I understand the motivation for moving to a subscription based business model. Sustaining a business is important - particularly with something as important as password management.

You, thankfully, still sell stand alone licences for macOS. It's great you still support this method of support your work. I've always viewed 1Password as the gold standard for security and keeping up to date with the latest tech Apple rolls out. But when using iCloud for sync, you haven't added background sync support for iOS in relation to the macOS data.

I see from searching the forums there are quite a few threads about this over the years. Initially it seemed to be a technical limitation:
https://discussions.agilebits.com/discussion/34714/background-sync
https://discussions.agilebits.com/discussion/58913/why-do-i-need-to-open-the-app-to-sync

But now it seems to be a business model choice?
https://discussions.agilebits.com/discussion/86195/sync-vault-in-ios-through-icloud-drive
(admittedly that thread was more concerned with syncing to iCloud Drive, rather than the CloudKit API).

iCloud Keychain supports background syncing, as does Secrets by Outercorner (https://outercorner.com/secrets-ios/). I don't know if iCloud Keychain is using the same public CloudKit API a third party developer has access to, but Secrets is using the public API.

So my fundamental question is: do you see no real future enhancements for your stand alone licensed version of 1Password iCloud sync and are just keeping it around for legacy reasons?

I in no way mean for this to come across as a negative post, I'm just trying to understand your perspective and to help me make future decisions --- I've been a happy customer since your first release but have no interest in subscription software.

Cheers


1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided

Comments

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member
    edited October 14

    Hi @edythafrancis

    My understanding is that iCloud does actually sync encrypted 1Password data in the background. What it doesn't do is merge those changes into the 1Password database. That, I believe, is still a technical limitation, that I don't know that we could safely overcome (regardless of priorities).

    So my fundamental question is: do you see no real future enhancements for your stand alone licensed version of 1Password iCloud sync and are just keeping it around for legacy reasons?

    We almost never say never. I can only think of one instance where we have. The world of technology changes rapidly and priorities sometimes shift accordingly. Right now we do not have any changes planned for syncing 1Password via iCloud. Our focus with regard to sync is on 1Password.com. I don't envision that changing at any point in the foreseeable future, but nothing is written in blood. It would likely take a fairly significant shift in the landscape for that to change.

    Ben

  • Interesting about the merge step - I wonder how others are working around that.

    And good to know you're not writing in blood :)

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    And good to know you're not writing in blood :)

    Indeed. It is just blood colored ink. ;)

    Ben

  • Just as a little follow up - you mentioned:

    My understanding is that iCloud does actually sync encrypted 1Password data in the background.

    I just tested: create a new note on my Mac, waited an hour (to make sure any background syncing would have the time to complete), then put my iPhone into airplane mode. I then opened 1Password (the full app, not the extension) and looked to see if the new note had synced in the background and was just waiting for 1Password to be unlocked to bring new data in. Unfortunately, the new note didn't appear. I then manually triggered a sync from the settings section on the ios app - still nothing. I then took my iPhone out of airplane mode and waited a little while, then the new note synced. So it looks like no background sync occurs at all and sync is only triggered when 1Password is opened.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Interesting; thanks @edythafrancis. I'll check with our development team to see if the issue is with my memory or with background sync.

    Ben

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