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Recently we’ve had the PlayStation Network and other major websites hacked, leaving us all to scramble to change passwords at every other website that we use regularly. This seems simple, yet it’s difficult to remember everywhere you have registered and the only way to be protected in the future is to use a different password for every single login. Again, this is impossible, since it’s difficult to remember 5 secure passwords, let alone one for all of the websites that we use. That’s where 1Password, for Mac, iPhone and iPad comes in.  It can do all that, and more, as it’s also an excellent tool that can be used to store other information such as card numbers, bank accounts or even secret notes.

Whenever you go in the app, you’ll find something useful. From the password generator, which is the best way to make secure passwords, to the secure notes that you can make, it’s got everything you will ever need. While I don’t feel that I would want to use it, you can also have the app save your credit cards, and with the Safari extension, import them in when you are going to buy something, saving you having to fill out the details each time. The app is also localised for lots of different regions, including Russian, Chinese and French, meaning that it’s suitable for almost anyone. It’s got all of the major features that you need from a password app, but it’s also got the little things. These add the extra polish, turning this from something simple, into a truly amazing app.

On all of the platforms, the app is built with simplicity in mind, yet it is still powerful. This means that you get all the features you will need, yet everything is quick and easy to access. You can quickly get to what you need to, and also make changes quickly. Unlike other apps, it feels well designed, with a lot of influence from native meaning that it doesn’t feel out of place amongst apps like Safari, Pages and other apps that have been designed by Cupertino’s finest.

If you want to use the app effectively, it’s important that the sync between the different apps would work well. Fortunately, just like the rest of the app, it is both easy and quick to use. This can be done via WiFi or via Dropbox, as you can share the database between all of the apps. For simplicity, I used the Mac as my main database, syncing to the other apps after I had added everything.  It’s really easy to sync any changes, as it only takes a few seconds, with authorisation codes acting as security.

On the Mac, I love 1Password’s integration with Safari. When you add entries to the 1Password Database, you can also add the web address for the website. From an extra Safari extension, you can click on a link and you will be taken to the website, with all of the details filled in. It works quickly, and importantly, on the websites that I tried, the app was able to figure out which piece of data should go in which field. This also works well on the iPad, except the app only uses it’s own web browse, with no export to Safari. Even so, it’s a great option to have, with the web browser having everything you need, and it certainly saves a lot of time.

As detailed above, the iPad version is the perfect choice if you need access to your information on the go. It’s the perfect compliment to the Mac app, but it’s also great to be used alone. While the iPhone version lacks the power of the iPhone version, it certainly suits it’s purpose. It’s difficult to add to the database from the app, due to the small screen, but it works perfectly just to browse for the information you need. Again, it’s very well designed and easy to use. Yet, best of all, is the Mac app. It’s the perfect choice to be the ‘central hub’ of your password network, as you can use the Mac App to set everything up and then sync to the other versions to act as viewers. Since you’ll also spend most of your time dealing with passwords on you Mac, it’s also the best choice if you can only choose one version to purchase.

If you choose 1Password, there is at least one thing you can guarantee. This is that Agilebits will constantly update the app and add useful features. Things such as the password generator have been added through updates. Throughout the history of iOS, they’ve been amongst the first to add or adopt new technologies, including being amongst the first to release an iPad app. With this in mind, you can consider that you purchase is almost like an investment, always growing and improving. If something you want isn’t there now, it probably will be in the future. Each time, the list of faults that you have, which will already really small, will get smaller and smaller.

While the price might seem quite expensive, especially if you’re considering buying both the Universal and Mac version, it’s worth every single penny. It serves a real purpose and as hacking becomes more frequent, it will become more and more useful. 1Password is the market leader, and with the features that will be added over time, it will stay that way for a long time to come. Considering this, it really is worth every single penny.

Overall, this really is the best app to choose if you need something to deal with password management. With hacking becoming more and more common, it’s important to be prepared and ready. This app can certainly help you add that, while making your life easier at the same time. AgileBits have won numerous awards, from App of the Year 2011 to a Ars Technica Design Award and it deserves every single one of them. You’ll soon be asking yourself how you lived without it.

Rating: 5/5

iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1password-for-iphone/id285897618

iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1password-for-ipad/id364747489

Universal: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1password-pro/id319898689

Mac: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1password/id443987910

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