Cross platform design philosophy

@Ben @MrRooni @roustem

I understand a part for you deciding to go for Electron on the front end was so that the Apps could all look and feel as close as possible to each other across the various different platforms. Can I ask, seriously, who actually asked for this?

I've done a quick and dirty survey of my non technically bless friends - not a single one of them expects or wants Apps to behave the same way across all platforms. All of them expect, and are happy to accept that each platform will make Apps looks and behave differently.

Shouldn't the focus being on using the best available to technologies and frameworks to make each App feel, look and function the best for its respect platform, even if that means it isn't exactly consistent across each?

I'm just struggling to understand this design decision, and it makes me sad because it really feels like an absolute betrayal for one of the key things you used to stand for, having the best native Mac Apps possible. Using Electron is completely at odds with having the best native Mac App possible, because there are other, better frameworks out there.


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

«1

Comments

  • Nhat_NguyenNhat_Nguyen

    Team Member

    Hello @gussic,

    It is tough to say that a native app is better than using electro for 1Password development for many reasons.

    1. 1Password is a cross-platform application that not only works on Windows or Mac, but it should also work on all available platforms, so it would be a tremendous advantage when they share the same source code. We can fix a bug faster, data can work across devices more effectively, and we can spend more time fixing and improving 1Password instead of dividing our resources to different departments to work on various native apps. There is usually difficulty communicating between teams since they use different technologies and that will make an issue takes much longer to resolve.

    2. There are excellent apps that use Electro such as Slack, VS code (One of the best code editors if not the best), Discord, WordPress are just a few of them and the list I believe will keep being bigger over time as more and more apps require to work cross platforms.

    3. The development process of a native app will inarguably cost more for much less when we develop an app that must work on many platforms. We can't expect to spend resources to develop native 1Password 8 for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android separately and being effective. If we can't focus our resources, we will fall behind.

    We did not just deciding to go for Electron without any researches and reasons. We guarantee that it fits our development focus to make great app with better performance, user friendly before making such decision. Please give it a try to see how it works.

    Best regards,

    Nhat Nguyen.
    https://support.1password.com/

  • You do realize that those listed apps (except for VS Code as I've never used it) are the butt end of so many memory hog jokes? That we have sent people to the moon with much less?
    Slack was my first introduction to Electron and showed me how slow and bloated it makes an app. 1.5GB of memory usage is on the low end of memory use for Slack!

  • @Nhat_Nguyen Electron does make you guys earlier to develop, but makes us, the customers, much harder.

  • @Nhat_Nguyen

    1Password is a cross-platform application that not only works on Windows or Mac, but it should also work on all available platforms, so it would be a tremendous advantage when they share the same source code. We can fix a bug faster, data can work across devices more effectively, and we can spend more time fixing and improving 1Password instead of dividing our resources to different departments to work on various native apps. There is usually difficulty communicating between teams since they use different technologies and that will make an issue takes much longer to resolve.

    I appreciate this, but it isn't as good for the end user, because we end up with a compromised experience on each platform, rather than them all being the best they can be for their respective platforms.

    There are excellent apps that use Electro such as Slack, VS code (One of the best code editors if not the best), Discord, WordPress are just a few of them and the list I believe will keep being bigger over time as more and more apps require to work cross platforms.

    Sorry, none of those are excellent. They are all bloaty, hot, resource hogs that don't feel like native macOS Apps.

    The development process of a native app will inarguably cost more for much less when we develop an app that must work on many platforms. We can't expect to spend resources to develop native 1Password 8 for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android separately and being effective. If we can't focus our resources, we will fall behind.

    I respectfully disagree, you wouldn't have merged the code base if there wasn't a cost and efficiency saving for you in the long run. If the native apps are more expensive to make that's fine - given the price you charge, that's what you should be doing, not compromising the experience by using sub-standard frameworks such as Electron.

    We did not just deciding to go for Electron without any researches and reasons. We guarantee that it fits our development focus to make great app with better performance, user friendly

    I'm sure you had your reasons, what i am saying is that those reasons were flawed, or not particularly customer centric. I'm sorry to be blunt, but your guarantee has already been breached - it is less user friendly than before, and arguably less performant when you consider it is a massive resource hog.

    Please give it a try to see how it works.

    I have, and it is absolutely appalling, it looks swish, but it is not user friendly, it makes the computer run hot and hogs resources.

  • petvaspetvas Junior Member

    @Nhat_Nguyen

    What you posted is exactly what I say. Your decisions are all based on business and money. It's all about how you can have cost savings and make an ok app that works across all platforms.
    You started with the Mac and now you are saying that all platforms are equal. That's ok as long as you give each platform the love it deserves. Using a cross platform framework is the easiest way to go for you, but for us Mac users, this is a no go.
    I am glad I cancelled my subscription. I want to have nothing to do with a company that thinks and works this way. Money is the first priority for you. Good for you, but sorry, this is a mistake. When you see how many people have cancelled their subscriptions, then maybe you will understand your mistake. Money does talk!

  • Compared to Amazon's Customer Obsession, Agilebits shows a classic example of Self Obsession: the change they made is solely good for themselves, leaving their customer behind.

  • There are excellent apps that use Electro such as Slack, VS code (One of the best code editors if not the best), Discord, WordPress are just a few of them and the list I believe will keep being bigger over time as more and more apps require to work cross platforms.

    These are awful apps, some of which I admittedly do use on a daily basis - but because I have to, not because they're so great (e.g. Slack).

    I use a Mac because I care about a consistent user experience across apps, not just within each app across platforms.

    There is not enough lipstick you can put on an Electron pig to make that happen. I've been using 1PW8 for a day now, it looks sort of like a Mac app if you squint hard enough, but boy does it start to grate when you try and actually use it :(

  • user12345user12345 Junior Member

    @Nhat_Nguyen

    1. It is a cross platform application. It wasn't when I started using it in 2007. The reason I have been using it since is the Mac native experience. I don't want a cross platform experience that degrades the Mac user experience in favor of the other platforms. You as a company one took great pride in the quality of your Mac application. Those days seem to be gone.

    2. In what way are those apps excellent? I have tried them all. None of them are excellent and none of them feel at home on macOS. In fact, I hate using every single Electron app I have ever tried because they all feel like web apps. Probably because they are. I have in many cases moved to other solutions just so I don't have to use the awful web based apps.

    3. So you're basically throwing away your position as the best password manager for Mac users because it's too expensive? What about the users that may move to other solutions now that you don't have an edge over the competition anymore? Many of us use 1Password just because of the great Mac experience. When that's gone features and pricing together with security will be all that's left to compare.

    In fact, I liked it much better when you didn't offer apps for other platforms and had all focus on the Mac and iOS side of things. That's when 1Password was at its best.

    I hope you will reverse this decision because it's not the right move if you want to stay true to your roots as being the one and only top choice for Mac users.

  • @gussic

    Can I ask, seriously, who actually asked for this?

    I asked for this. I'm using Windows, Android, the Chrome plugin, and the 1password website. All are different. This is a major nuisance, because it's not the button positions that are different, but they all have a slightly different feature set and a slightly different concept how to operate it. This is driving me nuts.

    And, as a Windows user, I learnt (too late) the Apple versions seem to have a larger and much more polished feature set than any of the other apps. As Windows user with 1Password, I clearly chose the wrong password manager, but now that I have the subscription, I'm quite happy to get the features from the Apple versions over to my platforms.

  • @Tertius3

    This is a major nuisance

    I have to disagree, the fact that they are all different is fantastic, because as they are today, non-beta releases and all, they are good for their own platforms. Wanting something to work the same across different operating systems and platforms is just foolhardy - if you can't adjust then I'd respectfully suggest you need to practice a bit more.

    Word doesn't look or feel the same between Windows and macOS - we all accept that it looks, feels and behaves differently based on the platform you're using on it. There are so many examples of this, even Edge doesn't look or feel exactly the same across the different platforms. Expecting things to feel the same across different platforms is just ridiculous.

  • You don't understand what I mean with "different". You, on Apple, have 100% of all the tiny features 1Password has to offer. I, on Windows (and on different platforms) have less. I have perhaps 80%. You have more entry sorting criteria, for example. I don't exactly remember what it was, but I think I needed a sort by username - the Apple version supports this as far as I saw this on some screenshot, but the Windows version not. And it's not the same 80% on each platform.

    At initial import a few months ago (I'm a new user), I looked for ways to work over all my entries and organize them. I tried to filter duplicates, find and sort by certain criteria. Some demands were better fulfilled by the website, some better by some app. Tags are not supported equally by all platforms. I'm using sub-tags. Some platforms collapse the tags, some not. Collecting items by hierarchical tags is not consistent. I bet on Apple, all the tag handling is perfect. But look at the early access: surprisingly, tags are not collapsible. Hierarchical tags are just indented, but not collapsible.

    There are more such surprises in the non-Apple versions of the 1Password apps. This is what I mean with "nuisance" and "different". Since you only use the Apple apps, you never see this, so I understand why you frown upon the early access version. But if 1Password wants to be a universal password manager, it's the right way to go: to unify the feature set, so there are no 1st class (Apple) and 2nd class users (everyone else) users any more. Currently with V7, for me, a Windows user, 1Password has less value than for you, an Apple user. But I'm paying the same subscription, so I'm at a disadvantage.

  • gussicgussic
    edited August 13

    I use the Windows, Chrome and Android apps to - there isn’t 20% less features.

    @Tertius3

  • @Tertius3 I doubt anyone here is against unifying the feature set and I haven't read anything along the lines of "please make all apps for non-Apple platforms less good".

    All we ask for is to keep the good and native experience of the true macOS app.
    I wouldn't use it but I would hope they would do the same for Windows and Linux too. Windows and Linux users deserve good software that fit's their platform too.

  • @avn @Tertius3

    100% agree - no one is advocating against feature parity, but features don't need to come at the expense of great native, high quality apps. That's the difference.

  • faubtfaubt
    edited August 13

    Can someone actually tell me what was missing on Windows versus Mac? For example, the Mac version of the app is missing my favourite feature, type in window, which is now also missing in 1Password 8 currently. I have zero issues with 1Password 7 on Windows. It's snappy, light on memory because it's not friggin Electron, and always defaulted to Windows Hello login very quickly.

  • dserodiodserodio
    edited August 13

    I use a Mac because I care about a consistent user experience across apps, not just within each app across platforms.

    Me too. If I were to use only webapps I'd be using a Chromebook.

    Very disappointed about this decision, every Electron app I've used (Slack, Discord, WhatsApp, Evernote…) is bloated and buggy. I guess 1Password is about to become of of these apps which I have to restart frequently to try and free some resources.

    Just as I write this comment, Evernote is eating 49% CPU, WhatsApp using 1.7GB RAM, etc.

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member

    I welcome the unified code base. I could not care less whether the app "feels" like a fancy native Apple app. I care about progression, faster bug fixes and a working product that gives me the same experience and UX across all platforms. The looks of the app is irrelevant.

    I am also using 1P on multiple platforms (macOS, Windows, and Android) and always felt the Windows app is lacking severely in user-friendliness (1P mini on Windows is an abomination compared to 1P mini on the Mac, to name just one example).

    As for Electron being a memory hog... It's 2021. You should (and most likely have) a machine with at least 16 GB of RAM. Obsessing over Electron is manufactured outrage, nothing more. I run multiple Electron apps on my machine side by side on a daily basis (stuff like Discord, Slack) and never had any issues in terms of memory or other resources. Google Chrome, in its native macOS iteration, is a far heavier app than any of the Electron apps I use.

    So yea, I asked for this and I think it's about time this finally happened. It means faster version iterations, faster bug fixes, faster innovation and progression for 1P going forward. Something we will all benefit from.

  • I love all the Agilebits employees with burner accounts now.

    1Password's sole differentiator between LastPass, Dashlane, and Bitwarden has been how polished their apps are on Mac and iOS. If you toss that to the side, you might as well use a cheaper (LastPass) or more open and secure (Bitwarden) alternative.

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member
    edited August 13

    I love all the Agilebits employees with burner accounts now.

    First of all, stop making dumbfounded accusations. If you search my previous posts on this forum you will realize quickly that your comment was pretty idiotic.

    Second, saying that the sole differentiator of 1P was UI polish just shows how little you know about password managers in general and just how exceptional 1P's security architecture is compared to other password managers. And that's what you actually should be concerned about, not fancy looks.

    I am a security engineer in my professional career and I chose 1P solely for what it does, not for how it looks. Just to add to my previous post to give some more context.

  • kcastillkcastill Junior Member

    I'm quite happy to get the features from the Apple versions over to my platforms.

    I hear this, and am all for it.

    Unfortunately for those of us using the preview on Mac for the moment, it's less "other platforms getting the features that were Apple-native" and more "stripping the Mac-native version to match the others."

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member

    Unfortunately for those of us using the preview on Mac for the moment, it's less "other platforms getting the features that were Apple-native" and more "stripping the Mac-native version to match the others."

    I don't know how you came to this impression, but that is NOT what is happening. You're looking at an early preview that doesn't have all the features yet, but my understanding is that there will be feature parity with previous versions and then some.

    You wouldn't judge a newborn by its cooking abilities, would you.

  • petvaspetvas Junior Member

    You wouldn't judge a newborn by its cooking abilities, would you.

    Well, if the newborn had no eyes and hands, then I would know that life will be hard for it. This is the state of 1Password8 on the Mac.

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member

    Don't be ridiculous.

  • @cryptochrome

    I respectfully disagree on the RAM point. Several major vendors, Apple included, still sell laptops and desktops that only have 8GB of RAM, the former of which can’t be upgraded. Furthermore, there’s quite a lot of people who are still using old laptops with only 8GB of soldered RAM because those machines still meet those users’ requirements, making spending on upgrades a dicey value proposition (especially with how processing power has plateaued in the past decade).

    Personally, yes, I won't buy anything with less than 16GB, and have preference for a 32GB+. But I’m a software engineer and tech enthusiast, and as such I’m in a very tiny bubble. The average individual isn’t so well off in terms of hardware, and because of that I do what I can to make sure the software I work on is finely crafted and doesn’t require more resources than it absolutely has to, because a few hundred megs here and a few hundred megs there pile up fast.

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member

    I am pretty sure 1P performs exceptionally well on a modern OS with just 8 gig of RAM installed. Especially on macOS, where we have things like memory compression.

    It's a mute argument. The 1P folks have demonstrated in another thread how Electrum based 1P only uses 75 MB of main memory and another 25 MB for the Electrum renderer. On an installation with four accounts and thousands of objects.

  • edited August 13

    Several users have posted examples of 1PW8 using well in excess of 250MB. I hope AgileBits can get that cleaned up, but based on the track records of other apps that made the switch to Electron I’m not optimistic. For those other apps, usage dropped by 10-15% once all the optimizations had been implemented, and no further attempts at reducing consumption were made by the developers.

    And of course 1PW8 is going to run fine on its own, where the real issue comes in is when several things are running… especially when many of things are also electron (hard to avoid these days). All it takes is a typical number of browser tabs and 2-3 electron/electron-like apps (slack, spotify, 1PW, evernote for example seems like a plausible combination) and the machine is going to have to start hitting the pagefile (even with memory compression) and performance will take a very noticeable hit.

    I don’t intend to continue arguing, but resource consumption is a huge problem that’s going mostly unaddressed by the biggest names in software.

  • cryptochromecryptochrome Junior Member

    Well if your computer can't keep up with modern apps anymore, maybe it's time for an upgrade. You can't expect your old machines to perform well forever.

    That being said, one user having 250 MB and another 75 MB clearly shows that this is not yet optimized. But if it can go down to 75 MB already, then I don't know how that can be a concern.

    You are all judging an early alpha release and make assumptions based on that. You should at least give 1P the chance to deliver a final product before spamming the forums with manufactured outrage (that goes to everyone, not you in particular). Some here act as if 1P8 means it's the end of the world.

  • petvaspetvas Junior Member

    I installed 1P8 on my M1 iMac (16GB RAM) and used it with 1P7 at the same time. The difference is night and day. 1P7 uses around 130MB RAM on my system while the Electron app uses 250MB.
    As far as the UI concerns, it definitely has nothing to do with a Mac app. It is too empty, scrolling feels unnatural to a Mac (no bouncing when reaching the top or bottom). I also prefer the categories on the side and not as a filter on top. All in all I prefer 1P7. It feels right on my Mac. I also do not like the way 1P8 preferences pop up. You also get only an x on the top right and no option to minimize the window, like on 1P7. It's disappointing. The only thing I liked is the search box, which works really well. Apart from that the Mac version is a big step backwards and a regression from 1P7 in all possible ways that matter to a user. For the business decision makers this is of course a great step, since they are saving lots amounts of money, by developing once for all platforms. The investors will definitely be happy.

  • edited August 13

    Like I said, I hope AgileBits can clean it up. But so frequently these days, “it’s an alpha, it’ll get fixed!” never actually comes to pass for half or more of the problems users report, and those problems live on in production for years if they ever get addressed. I’ve seen it happen time and time again across several different types of software.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file