1Password is must-have eshopping nirvana

1Password just got revved to version 3 and it's one my few must-have Mac OS X apps. It stores all of your online logins, registration information and credit card information for easy access with a click in your browser's menu bar.

There's a big holiday this weekend in the U.S. called Thanksgiving which precedes the even larger Christian holiday of Christmas. Curiously, the time in between is known for the massive uptick in retail purchases. Many retailers rely on heavy sales during the crucial fourth quarter to push them into profitability for year – hence the name Black Friday.

I'm not one for bricks and mortar shopping if I can avoid it, and I especially eschew in-store shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas due to the suffocating crowds and snarled parking lots. I'm mostly an online shopper theses days and if you are too I've got a Mac software tip that will definitely help come Cyber Monday.

Agile Web Solutions has released version 3.0 ($40, upgrades $20) of its excellent password and identity manager 1Password. I've been using 1Password for a long time and it's one of the few pieces of code that I consider to be a "must-have" application. You know, the kind of app that annoys you when it's not on a Mac that you're using? For me it's right up there with Quicksilver.

For those that haven't tried it, 1Password stores all of your passwords, logins and credit card information and enters them into Web forms with a click in your browser's menu bar. It's convenient when filling in registration forms and even better for entering credit card information when shopping online. In fact, shopoholics and other restraint-challendged Mac users may want to stay away from this app – it makes shopping almost too easy.

1Password desktop is particularly useful when combined with its corresponding iPhone app (iPassword Pro, free through 12/1) which I reviewed in July 2008. The iPhone app syncs to the desktop version over WiFi so that you access your saved logins, passwords and account numbers from just about anywhere.

1Password 3 includes a number of new features and improvements, including:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) compatibility
  • Access your data everywhere with 1PasswordAnywhere; even Windows and Linux
  • Easily track your licenses with the new Software section
  • Encrypt files and emails with Attachments
  • A new Smart Search feature

The full list of new features, screenshots, and videos is available on the Agile Web site.