Like many Mac users, I was greatly disappointed to read that 1Password is moving to Electron. I firmly believe that Electron is a bad framework for app development, and the 1Password 8 beta does not change this opinion. I’ve compiled a list of issues, as I see them. Some are endemic to Electron, while others are simply stylistic choices by the dev team. I will try to omit complaints that are purely personal preference, such as specific color usage.
- The lack of rubberband/elastic scrolling is jarring and unpleasant.
- There isn’t enough visual feedback that the window is out of focus. In particular, the “New Item” toolbar button should fade to a lighter blue when unfocused.
- Many interactions in the app do not have the animations they should, including list expansions, menu displays, checkbox toggling, and modal dialogue appear/disappear.
- Unnecessary reliance on modal dialogues is antithetical to native Mac app development. In particular, the “Preferences” and “About” windows should be … well, windows, not modal dialogues.
- It is unusual for a Mac app to have the “About” page be part of the preferences dialogue.
- When unfocused, 1PW 8 lacks hover states. In order to copy a field when the app is unfocused, you have to click into the window, then click the field again. 1PW 7 only requires a single click and properly displays hover state when unfocused.
- 1PW 8 no longer shows the number of items in a tag/category.
- There is seemingly no longer an easy way to mark or unmark an item as a favorite.
- The account name at the top of the sidebar has a disclosure triangle in the down position, indicating that clicking it will collapse the sidebar entries for that account. Instead, clicking it brings up a popover menu with various actions. (I don’t know whether this behavior is different when you have more than one account. My point is that this behavior is unusual for this type of UI element.)
- The app uses almost 2x the memory footprint of 1PW 7 and 10x(!) the idle CPU usage.
- The app is noticeably slower. Scrolling a long list introduces a delay in displaying icons that is not present in 1PW 7. Additionally, there is flicker and occasional slow loading when changing filters, vaults, and tags. (1PW 7 also has flicker at times, notably when changing login items. It’s far more prominent in 8, however.)
- There’s too much list padding. With windows of identical dimensions, 1PW 7 shows me 10.5 items; 1PW 8 shows me only 7.5.
Are these things ultimately minor? Yeah. Complaining about a preferences window becoming a modal dialogue is about as first-world a problem as you can get. At the same time, I’m paying money for this, and now it feels like I’m going to spend money on a downgrade.
1Password 8 is probably the most native-feeling and best Electron app I’ve used, but that’s like saying the McDonald’s by Disneyland is the best McDonald’s I’ve eaten at. I’ve been a 1Password user for years (I started with 1Password 3) and always held the app up as the only app I unreservedly considered worth a subscription. Now it’s pretty likely I’ll move to something else.
1Password Version: 80200056
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: macOS 11.5.1