1Password for Windows Version 4 Is Here – First Impressions

1Password for Windows Chrome browser extension

AgileBits released 1Password for Windows version 4 today. Some quick first impressions:

  • The browser extensions are the real sweet part of this update. As the AgileBits blog summarizes, “[y]ou can drill down to view vault items, search your vault, access your Favorites, change extension settings, and, of course, it’s still just a single click to open a new site, fill your credentials, and login.”
  • Folders and favorites now sync between platforms. If this was present in version 3, I missed it. I noticed for the first time today that folders created on my iPad and Mac were showing up in the Windows app. In the past, my Windows install sort of sat on an island of its own with respect to folders and favorites. No longer.
  • Multiple vaults. For some time, I’ve wanted to cull out rarely used passwords, and put them into a separate vault. I’ve held off, since using multiple vaults was cumbersome, if not impossible, on Windows. It’s easy now.
  • Watchtower support. On the Mac version, AgileBits introduced a feature that alerted you to sites where you had a login, and where the site had a security issue. That is now in the Windows app. Unfortunately (through no fault of 1Password), the list of sites is pretty long.
  • The Windows app still isn’t as visually appealing as the Mac or iOS apps.
  • I still can’t get universal unlock to work. Even if the Windows desktop app is open, I still need to login via the browser extension. This has been a problem for me going back to when I started with 1Password at version 3.
  • If you purchased 1Password for Windows in 2013 or later, the upgrade to version 4 is free.

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Apple Adds iCloud Bookmark Syncing to Chrome and Firefox on Windows

ICloud Windows Control Panel

One of the nice features of Safari on Mac and iOS is how your bookmarks can stay in sync between your devices, with no plugin required. The one flaw in that setup was that there was no way to sync your Safari bookmarks to any other browser on Windows aside from Internet Explorer. If you wanted a universal bookmark experience, you had to use another browser with cross platform sync support, such as Chrome, on all of your devices. That has now changed. One piece of news almost lost amid the hoopla with iOS 7 and the new iPhones, is that Apple has added Chrome and Firefox to the list of browsers that support iCloud bookmark sync on Windows.

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Meld Your Windows PC and Mac into One

join windows and mac

Being a Mac user in a Windows world can be tough. If you’re like me, even if you use Windows professionally, there are certain Mac apps that are essential to your productivity. For me, OmniFocus and OmniOutliner are two that come to mind immediately. In my search for ways to make my Macs play nicer in a Windows universe, I recently discovered one of the coolest gadgets I’ve come across in a long time – the J5 Create Wormhold Switch. It helps me join my Windows and Mac computers – literally.

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Quickly Reboot Your Mac Into Windows

QuickBoot iconAfter making a decision on Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 on one of my Macs, I find myself occasionally using Bootcamp to boot my Macs into Windows. That involves holding down the Option key while booting, and then selecting the Windows partition. If I’m already in Windows, it is easier to reboot into OS X – there is an option in the Windows system tray to reboot into OS X. After a bit of searching, I found a couple of options to similarly boot into Windows from OS X, without having to sit there and hold down the Option key.

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So Help a Guy Pick – Windows 7 vs. Windows 8?

windows 7 or 8I’m hoping that between this blog, Google+, and Twitter, the hive mind can help me choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8 for my Retina MacBook Pro. I’m probably running the risk of starting a debate about the virtues of Windows vs. Mac, or the folly of using Windows to game on a Mac, but damn the torpedoes.

 

 

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Why is Windows 8 a Flop?

sinking shipAlthough I’m now primarily a Mac user at home, that had nothing to do with a dislike for Windows. In fact, I loved Windows 7. Shortly after its release, I installed it on both of my personal machines, and I was one of the early adopters at the office. In years past, I would have been eager to install Windows 8 on my remaining Windows machine and on my Windows 7 partition on my Mac, given my affliction with G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I haven’t felt that urge for Windows 8, and it appears that most other users have felt the same way. Based on some recent data, it seems that Windows 8 is a flop. Why?

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Fujitsu Finally Makes Their Windows ScanSnap Scanners Work on Macs

Scansnap driver mac and windows

As a follow up to my recent post on the World’s Most Awesome Automated Filing System, I intended to write a post on how to get your Windows-only ScanSnap Scanner working on your Mac. This would have been important to those of you who switched from Windows to Mac, and wanted to use your old scanners. Until recently, Fujitsu, the maker of the ScanSnap, created an artificial distinction between their Mac and Windows scanners. The hardware was identical, which should have meant that as long as you had the correct driver for your system, either scanner should have worked on your machine. Unfortunately, Fujitsu built a check into their drivers, so that a Mac would see that you had the Windows-branded version of the ScanSnap, and not be able to use the scanner. This was an incompatibly cooked up out of thin air by Fujitsu. As much as I’m a huge fan of the ScanSnap line, this had the stench of an attempt to create more sales. Fortunately, those days appear to be over.

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It’s Magic! Set up a Windows Quick Entry Box for Mac-Only OmniFocus

OmniFocus is a fantastic GTD application, boasting many great features. One of my favorite features is the quick entry box. This allows you to tap a key combination to call up a task entry box. That entry box will hover over whatever app you’re using and then disappear after you enter your task and hit the Return key. The big problem is that OmniFocus is a Mac-only app. I’ve liked it enough as I tested alternatives to Toodledo, that I looked for a way to make it easier to implement in a world dominated by Windows. I found a very slick free app called Win2GTD that brings an OmniFocus quick entry box to Windows.

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Customize Your Windows Logon Screen With LogonStudio

Windows logon screen

In my recent kick to clean up and customize my desktop, I discovered one problem- in Windows, no matter what you use for your desktop, you’re stuck with the same boring logon screen whenever you lock your computer or are booting your computer. There are some hacks around this, such as tweaking the registry and the background image file, but I wanted an easier process. Enter LogonStudio, which lets you customize your Windows logon screen.

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