1Password Discontinues Share Sheet Extension

With the introduction of 1Password’s Safari extension, they’ve also discontinued their share sheet extension. This has managed to irritate quite a few users, including myself.

While the Safari extension is great, it doesn’t replace all of the functionality of the previous share sheet extension. Here are a handful of examples off the top of my head:

  • No way to auto-fill non-login data in third-party browsers or within a Safari View Controller, such as credit/debit card information.
  • Improperly designed login forms don’t work with the system-level auto-fill feature.
  • Applications that implemented a 1Password-based auto-fill system using the share sheet, often times using the 1Password logo, display nothing in the share sheet.
  • Users that still have iOS 14 installed don’t have access to the new Safari extension, leaving them out in the cold for a lot of auto-fill features, even in Safari.

It’s not great. And to make matters worse, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for it’s retirement.

Dave Teare, writing about the decision in a comment on Reddit:

Now I can definitely see how you could want us to continue postponing the share sheet’s retirement. We’ve postponed it for a few years already so why not another year or two? We could have done that but maintaining three different features that all serve the same purpose (Password AutoFill, share sheet, and now the new Safari web extension) is a big ask. Something had to give and since the share sheet offers the least functionality that isn’t covered by the other two it was time to bid it adieu.

Okay, fair. But in the previous paragraph he wrote the following:

We did however stop maintaining it as it was becoming quite long in the tooth.

So if they had already stopped maintaining it, the claim that it would require additional work to maintain doesn’t really hold water. The sensible solution would have been to keep the share sheet extension in the app for some period of time alongside the Safari extension and then notifying users of its imminent retirement.

What irritates me the most is the lack of messaging. I had no idea the share sheet extension was even in consideration for retirement. One day I just updated the app and it was gone — it wasn’t even mentioned in the 7.8 release notes. At first, I thought there was some bug in iOS 15 causing the issue because I had updated around the same time it disappeared.

I’ll get used to launching the app and copy and pasting into Firefox, Safari View Controllers, and so on. But if I knew that this was going to be the case before it happened, it would have softened the blow a bit. The takeaway to all developers, if you’re going to be taking functionality away from users, at least let them know in advance.

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