Besides new user features such as health tracking, user interface optimizations, and improved messaging, iOS 8 introduces several new APIs for developers that will result in improved App Store apps that tie even deeper into the system. Two of the most notable API additions in iOS 8 are Touch ID and Extensions. The Touch ID feature will allow developers to design applications that can use the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint scanner, and Extensions will allow them to integrate their own software into share sheets within other apps.
1Password, a popular password management program, is testing an updated version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch application that taps into both of these APIs. We’ve gone hands-on with the beta version—which developer AgileBits stresses is still a pre-release build with functionality and interface elements that can and will change—and both features feel right at home in a third-party app. You can find tours of both the Touch ID and Extensions features below:
The Touch ID feature makes perfect sense for 1Password. Instead of needing to type in your vault’s master password or a PIN each time you want to access your password library, you simply just rest any of your assigned Touch ID fingers on the home button. It works just like unlocking your iPhone 5s. If your fingerprint does not authenticate the app for whatever reason, you can always enter your passcode. Above is a video of the Touch ID 1Password unlock feature in action.
The beta currently has options for different time allotments for being required to enter the passcode. For users on non-Touch ID devices, this current beta also allows users to login to their password library with the device’s main PIN code instead of the vault’s master password. Touch ID is perhaps the most exciting new API for developers of password and payment applications.
With 1Password, the Extensions feature exists as a new button within the standard Share Sheet in iOS 8’s Safari broswer. In order to add 1Password to the Safari Share Sheet, you must select it from the list of “extendable” applications.
When you click the 1Password button from the Share Sheet, you are prompted to select the password from your 1Password library. You can authenticate this with Touch ID or your passcode. It works more or less just like a mobile version of the 1Password for Mac Safari extension.
Of course, all of the aforementioned features could be removed or altered significantly by the launch of the 1Password update. The developers have not indicated when the update will arrive, but we assume it will launch around the time of iOS 8 in the fall. 1Password currently costs $17.99 on iOS and $49.99 for Mac.
AgileBits is also working on a 1Password interface update for OS X Yosemite (shown above, in beta). We assume both platform updates will be free of charge, but the developers have not commented on this.