Jonathan Geller at BGR:
We have exclusively learned that Apple is planning an interesting partnership and a potential acquisition of AgileBits, maker of the popular password manager 1Password.
According to our source, after many months of planning, Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all 100,000 employees. This includes not just employees in Cupertino, but extends all the way to retail, too. Furthermore, the company is said to have carved out a deal that includes family plans, giving up to 5 family members of each employee a free license for 1Password. With more and more emphasis on security in general, and especially at Apple, there are a number of reasons this deal makes sense. We’re told that 100 Apple employees will start using 1Password through this initiative starting this week, with the full 100,000 users expected to be activated within the next one to two months.
I have been using 1Password almost as long as I have been using Apple products. It is always the first app I install when setting up a new device. I think that it would be a great fit for Apple to buy.
The most interesting part of this report is that their deployment agreement with Apple includes Family Plan support. The ability to share certain passwords with my wife is one of the main reasons I continue to use 1Password over Apple’s iCloud Keychain even though Apple’s offering has significantly improved in the last few years. If they are offering family plans to their employees, it would serve as evidence that those features would stick around if Apple follows through with acquiring them.
If this acquisition does go through, it would be another example of Apple buying up a nerdier app and giving it to their users (similar to buying Workflow and releasing it as Shortcuts). I am a big fan of Apple spending more time an attention on professional features and apps like this.
However if I were a 1Password user who depended on the cross-platform features, I would star researching other options. Apple’s track record of keeping their products working on other platforms isn’t great.
Update: Well apparently Apple will not be acquiring 1Password.