1Password 8: how does it identify the macOS in which it's running

I’ve spent some time each day over the past week attempting to bring my spouse’s installation of 1PW on her MacBook Pro up to current releases.

Task #1 was to get her macOS up to a newer version, which meant some time with pentalobe drivers to get a bigger SSD inside, which meant some time creating new backups first.

But that all went well until I realized that what she had (thanks to my own incomplete migration of her password manager from a standalone 1PW 6 to an active 1PW for Families installation on her devices.

But that eventually got done as well, and now it’s largely down to deleting old logins that are no longer relevant but which might confuse accounts we still both use at some of the same financial institutions, thereby locking us out of those accounts should we pick the outdated 1PW items repetitively.

But, even though I’m almost done, one curiosity has arisen. Both on MY laptop and hers, we’re now running macOS Ventura, but each time I log into my 1PW for Families account in Safari on my MacBook Pro or to hers on HER MacBook Pro, our respective “My Profile” reports in Safari log a current access from macOS 10.15.7?

Admittedly, this is trivia, but it’s still disconcerting, and it’s not the only “oops” I’ve encountered in updating her. Way back in 2016 when I created but didn’t populate her “for Families” account on her previous laptop, I tested the “Shared” vaults by creating a few “Secure Notes” on each laptop and verifying that they synced to each other’s “Shared” vaults on desktop and laptop macOS machines. Doing her update on her MacBook Pro now required first updating her 1PW 6 to V. 6.8.9, then changing the sync repository, then updating her to 1PW 7.x and then 1PW 8.x. Along the way, the database mapping swapped locations for a few items on her laptop. Most troublesome of those was that while the contents of one “Secure Note” in 1PW 6 was her “Families” account PW, once the update was done, the content of that note was “1 PW Teams PW” (previously the NAME of the note), and instead of that item being of “item type” Secure PW, now the password itself is presented to a user who’s unlocked the database as the name of a “tag” in the L sidebar.

I just checked my account, and the OS identifications appear to be a bit of a mess. My profile shows me logged in from Safari on 10.15.7 and from the app on 12.6.0. I’m running the latest release of Ventura. From my iMac, which is also running Ventura, it reports 10.15.7 and 12.6.1 respectively. There are two other logins from Firefox and Brave (reported as Chrome) which I think I did from my laptop. In those cases, the OS versions reported are 10.15 (Firefox) and 10.15.7 (Brave).

That’s very interesting, and means I’m not alone crying in the wilderness. My guess is that there’s some bit of obsolete data lying is some ~library/application support/??? file that’s accessed by 1Password, and it’s probably (or should i say “I hope”) harmless.

It all goes to two of the old “truisms” of software development:

  1. All software has bugs.
  2. You can always write tighter code.

Taken to logical conclusions, your program will eventually be one Byte long. Unfortunately, it will be wrong.

You could try posting to the 1Password forum – they’re usually pretty responsive there (and more likely to know the answer to this question!).

The first responses I obtained from the 1PW crew were suggestions that for some reason my spouse’s and my laptops were somehow “remembering” a previous macOS installation. But their most recent replay makes more sense. Basically, they state that when Apple changed the numerical designations of the OS from different iterations of Mac OS X to macOS 11 (or 12, or 13), the “User Agent” reported by Safari somehow got “stuck” at 10.15.7, so ANY report of the Safari in use AS the “user agent” in people running macOS versions newer than the last version of Catalina will see 10.15.7 AS the macOS in which Safari is running.

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Huh. Looks like that is correct. I’m running Safari 16.3/Ventura 13.2.1 on an MBP M1 Pro, and yet this is the UA string being sent by Safari:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/16.3 Safari/605.1.15

That’s certainly odd, but I think 1PW is being a bit coy. The correct Safari version is in the UA string, so they could use that to infer the OS version (at least the major version number).

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