1Password iphone
1Password Pro for iPhone version 3.1.1

1Password Mac
the Mac version of 1Password

After a month of iOS4 devices being available, we are seeing more evidence that older iPhone and iPod touch models are being treated as antiquated. 1Password, a very popular app that’s used to store user name and password information, has issued their new version 3.5 as supporting “only iOS 3.2 and above”, which works on pretty much any iPhone 3G/3GS and all iPhone 4 devices, iPod touch 2nd-generation and above and any iPad model. Any other device that isn’t running iOS 4 or iOS 3.2 can’t install the upgrade.

The previous version of 1Password Pro was version 3.1.1, which runs just fine on any device running iOS 3.1.x or above. This new version does add support for syncing with Dropbox and other functionality, which are nice updates. But if you are using an original iPhone or a 1st-generation iPod touch, you are out of luck.

I discovered this when recently running my App Store updates and trying to sync my iPhone 2G, which gave the error that the version of 1Password was not compatible with this device. Fortunately, it didn’t delete the app from my iPhone, which kept all of my data intact. The newer version installed just fine on my iPad.

Functionality wise, I’m still in business here. But it did raise some concerns over how much the older iPhones, iPod touch models and previous versions of iOS are at risk here of being antiquated rather quickly. Yes, I understand the original iPhone and 1st-gen iPod touch are three years old now and support cannot continue forever. But iOS 3 was current just one month ago. And already we have a major developer that is pushing forward with eliminating support in previous versions.

This is not new, since at the first announcement of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4, it was known that the original iPhone would not be getting an OS upgrade option. And neither would the 1st-gen iPod touch. And with that, I can understand why. Older devices running new version of an OS can be problematic. But it was announced months before and users of these devices had a heads-up. Not so with Agile Web Solutions, who simply pushed out a new version without notifying it’s customers of what they were planning on doing. Yes, in the small print on the App Store for 1Password, it does say that “iOS 3.2 or above” is required. But to a lot of people that don’t do the OS math, they may not have clued in what that meant exactly. There should have been a more detailed announcement on their web site, in their support forum, an email sent to all registered users – something – to give users who store critical and important data, a warning of what’s coming up with some solutions for keeping their older app.

So for now, I am extra careful to ensure I have backup copies of both the previous version and my data. But if this is happening now, I can imagine more developers jumping on board and orphaning previous users, all with an eye to supporting the latest and greatest. I’m sure supporting multiple iOS versions is not the easiest thing in the world and I can understand wanting to move forward, but people still use and love their older Apple products. Kicking them to the curb too soon could leave a bad taste in users’ mouths when it comes time to upgrade. By then, they may have moved on to a competitor’s product.

And that’s not a win for anyone.