Recently, 1Password announced early access to version 8 of their new Mac App. Things did not go well from there.
You see, the problem with the new 1Password app for many Mac users is they switched to a technology called Electron. If you are not familiar with Electron, it’s a technology that allows businesses to more easily make cross platform apps. Great, right? Not exactly. Electron is the bane of many Mac users’ existence. It’s slow, heavy, bloated, and does not integrate with the OS. Instead of looking like an app that belongs on the OS, it looks like you’re running the website in a container… because that’s what you are doing. Needless to say, Mac users were not happy and expressed their frustrations on Twitter, Reddit, and the 1Password Community. Many posts from users cancelling/leaving are still up as of writing this post.
1Password tried to hide the fact that they were using Electron for the new version. When people would ask, point blankly, if they were using Electron, they would deflect and say the back end is written on Rust and it’s super fast. When people would push back and again ask if it was using Electron, they would ignore the question and not respond.
When users started to install the app and call their bluff, they weren’t ready. There were instances where users were actually showing how much worse resource usage in 1Password 8 is compared to 1Password 7 by posting screenshots. Resource usage for most users were 3-4x higher. One event went as high as 6 times higher resource usage. 1Password employees responded with wrong screenshots that cut off multiple 1Password 8 processes to make it look like it was behaving better than it actually was.
They then set up a Reddit AMA that was scheduled for a 3-hour period. In the first 2 hours of that AMA, only 1 employee showed up. When asked where everyone else was, they responded that the others forgot. Forgot the AMA that they were advertising on Reddit and Twitter the previous day and all that morning? Sounds unlikely.
To give credit, some employees did eventually show up, but I’m not sure why. Every single question was evaded. Take a look at this example below.
Every single response is similar to this. Instead of addressing the issues that Mac users have with Electron and how it impacts them as users, 1Password could only post about great Electron is for them as a company. Totally tone-deaf.
Next up, we have instances where 1Password actively lied to users. When asked in June if 1Password would continue to use native (non-Electron) apps, they replied, “Don’t worry, we love native apps.”
Multiple posts I’ve made in the 1Password subreddit and the 1Password Community pointing out these issues have been removed. Other posts have been removed as well. Because they can’t (or won’t) address these issues, they pretend like they no longer exist. This makes me wonder if they knew this would be the response from the community. If they didn’t know, that’s a pretty scary proposition for a company to be that out of touch with their user base. If they did know, I wonder if their new investors at Accel were aware of the potential pushback that would come as a result. If they weren’t made aware, that makes it look even more shady on 1Password’s end.
We also have 1Password admitting that they used devs who have never used this technology before. This sounds kind of scary for a company that holds all of my passwords and credit cards.
The fact is, in the three days since the announcement that 1Password would be moving to Electron, not a single user concern with Electron has been addressed. They’ve completely ignored the concerns of Mac users and no longer care about us as users. They have mishandled this (maybe intentionally) from the start and it doesn’t appear that they have any intention of fixing it. Instead, they continue to ignore the complaints of users that are still appearing hourly.
1Password recently received a huge valuation and an influx of cash from investors. The enterprise market is now their customer. That’s fine. That’s their decision to make as a company, but I can no longer recommend them to friends, family, and coworkers. With the amount of gaslighting, ghosting, outright lies, and condescending responses employees have given, I don’t know how anyone could trust them again, especially since they are a security company. I will be leaving for another service, but the damage to 1Password’s reputation is just getting started. What a fall for a once-great development company.
Edit: Jason at Six Colors has a great post about how Mac users are no longer important to 1Password.