I see you, fellow lazy people. While password managers are an absolute must for digital security, they are freaking annoying to set up, and occasionally, annoying to use. But now that macOS Big Sur is here, popular password manager 1Password is adding several new features, including the ability to unlock the app with your Apple Watch.
Upon reading the news, something inside my slothful heart broke open with a screeching, “YESSS!!!”
1Password just happens to be the password manager I use. I upgraded my personal MacBook Pro to Big Sur the other day (though the update 1Password 7.7 works on macOS Catalina, too). And I have an Apple Watch. To enable the feature, you just have to go to Preferences, hit the Security tab, and then you should see the option to Set Up Apple Watch. So long as your devices support Apple’s Secure Enclave, a coprocessor that includes a hardware-based key manager, you’re good to go.
The Apple Watch unlock doesn’t supplant Touch ID though. You can use the Apple Watch and Touch ID in tandem, depending on what’s more convenient for you in the moment. It’s just that if you’re like me and use an external keyboard and mouse, and have your MacBook allllllll the way over on one side of your desk, you can instead double click the side button on your Apple Watch. Is it idiotic that I’m this happy about not having to reach a few inches over? Absolutely. Am I also now living my best lazy life? You bet. Anything that makes good security hygiene less annoying is an A+ move in my book.
That’s not the only update, though. 1Password also beefed up its Safari integration, meaning you can now autofill text fields and create virtual payment cards. There are also some slight design tweaks. AgileBits, which makes 1Password, notes everything looks “fresher and cleaner.” OK. The more interesting bit is the password generator has been redesigned so you can more easily toggle between random passcodes, memorable ones, and PIN codes.
While these are great additions for 1Password users on Macs, it’s not the only password manager that works in some way with the Apple Watch. Actually, 1Password has had an Apple Watch app for a while, it’s just that you were limited to viewing passwords from your wrist. LastPass also lets you view passwords, secure notes, and items via its Apple Watch app—though you can’t unlock the app from your wrist just yet.
Browsers have come a long way with regard to built-in password management, but there are still some benefits to having a dedicated app. Password managers also make pretty good gifts. But, you scoff, who in 2020 is using bad passwords or reusing weak ones across multiple platforms? Buddy, apparently a lot of people. In 2020, millions are still using “123456" and “password” to secure their shit. I get it. Evangelizing password managers is cheesy, and finding the fortitude deep, deep within your soul to help a technologically challenged loved one make the leap is a lot. But just think of these updates as putting in a little work upfront so that you can be stupendously lazy later. Trust me, it’s only been a few hours but I love booping my wrist over reaching over to use Touch ID. It’s the little things.