Safari 5.1 and Lion Support

With OS X Lion Apple introduced Safari 5.1, a major update for Lion and Snow Leopard users that brings lots of great new features. Being the agile folks we are, we released 1Password 3.6 for Mac in June to make sure you’re prepared. But this isn’t just a compatibility nip here and a bug tuck there. We completely rewrote our Safari extension for Apple’s update in the name of usability, speed, cross-platform harmony, and bringing you faster updates.

Once you decide to upgrade to Lion or Safari 5.1 on Snow Leopard, you’ll be prompted to install our new Safari extension. Check out some of the great benefits we have in store for you.

Usability

Instead of just a browser button with a couple menus, our new Safari extension interface offers a more powerful and flexible slice of 1Password right inside your browser. Whether you click the toolbar button or use the default keyboard shortcut of Command-\ to trigger the extension, it appears as a window that floats above the top left corner of the current page, featuring tabbed sections for Logins, Identities, Credit Cards, and our Strong Password Generator. This puts the 1Password extension’s capabilities in the spotlight for all users and makes navigating around your data much, much more convenient. It also means you can now do things that haven’t been possible before from within a browser, such as view and copy 1Password item details (great for Flash sites!) and verify whether information in an Identity is up-to-date—all without having to switch gears and open the 1Password app.

Speed

Using 1Password via our new Safari extension is now much faster and more efficient whether you fancy yourself a mouse cowboy or a keyboard ninja. Most of our customers build quite long, eclectic collections of Logins, but navigating a list of even a couple dozen items with a browser button menu can be clunky; you can lose your place or miss a submenu and have to re-do a lot of scrolling. You also can’t really search your items or view any extra information about them. With our previous extension, you’d have to stop what you’re doing, open 1Password, unlock it, then go searching for what you need. A key goal of our new extension is to give you instant access to more of your 1Password information right there in the browser so you don’t miss a beat.

By presenting your 1Password data with this new interface, we’ve made it much easier for mouse users to navigate their data, peruse long lists of items, check or copy an item’s details, and pick the proper item without dealing with finicky menus or losing one’s place. But if you prefer the ways of the keyboard, you can can now open the extension, navigate your Logins, Identities, and Credit Cards, view item details, and fill a form all without ever having to touch the mouse. Check out some of our keyboard shortcuts for navigating the Safari extension.

Cross-browser compatibility

Without delving into too many technical details, our new extension isn’t just a pretty face—it’s actually a complete architectural rewrite. There are a number of advantages to this for our developers, but for you, dear 1Password user, this means improved form filling, more features, and faster updates. In fact, this new format allows us to update the extension without having to update the 1Password application—that means more frequent updates and a smoother update process for you. For example, Safari and Chrome allow extensions to update automatically, and you can now view and toggle the 1Password extension in Safari’s preferences.

On a grander scale though, this new architecture will eventually allow us to use much more of the same code across the browsers we support. That translates to less work for our developers when it comes to keeping pace with the break-neck development cycles of Chrome and Firefox, but more importantly for you: a consistent, powerful, and flexible user experience no matter which browser you’re using.

Moving forward

We have a lot planned for our new browser extension, including features to add and some great interface enhancements. We’re also still working on the Firefox version, so stay tuned on that front. Ditto for our Windows users.

We’ve had an incredible response to our new extension from Chrome users over the past year, our beta testers, and early Lion and Safari 5.1 users. We think the new Safari extension marks huge improvements to 1Password integration with the browser, making your data more accessible, and letting you get in, get out, and get back to what you’re doing faster than ever before. But that’s enough about us—let us know what you think!