Enpass keeping its Edge extension in beta due to missing APIs

Enpass has explained why its browser extension for Microsoft Edge will be remaining in beta for a while longer. While it was hoped that Enpass could release the extension officially with stable version 5.3, limitations in Microsoft's initial release of Edge extension support limit what the team can do in keeping your data secure.

According to Enpass, one of the big problems facing them is a lack of APIs that connect extensions to local Windows applications:

Since Enpass is an offline password manager, it requires some sort of local communication channel with the Edge extension to share data for autofilling. The connection is generally through localhost web-socket.  Unfortunately, we don't have any official APIs to connect Edge extension with Enpass app installed on same machine.  

While there have been workarounds, the method used by Enpass is discouraged by Microsoft, and Enpass isn't certain that Microsoft would allow the extension onto the Windows Store in its current state. The company is appealing to Microsoft to release APIs for communication between extension and universal (UWP) apps.

It's our humble request to Microsoft to provide an API to allow Edge extensions to communicate with a UWP App. We explored if we could use Application Services APIs, but those are not available yet for Edge extensions.  

Developers can check out Enpass' request to Microsoft over on the MSDN forums (opens in new tab). For now, the extension will remain a part of the Enpass beta releases, which will be updated regularly until the company can find a proper solution to the issue.

Thanks to @BrennanMcCullar for the tip!

Joseph Keller
  • Just Great, was looking forward to this.
  • Try Lastpass, IMO its much better, more feature rich.
  • LastPass is awful. They've been ignoring the Windows ecosystem entirely, particularly mobile. That's a huge missing feature.
  • Im not prepared to support a company that supports Windows and delivers an inferior experience on a number of fronts.  I have Lastpass on my phone, works well.  I have the extention in browser (for Edge in a few hours i hope too) works extremely well.  Yes Enpass supports Windows Hello, what about millions of machines that dont have Hello yet.  I have 2 step authentication via Yubikey, very nice and works well.  I will say that the UWP app is very nice with Enpass but the negatives outweigh the positives (in my opinion)
  • I've had a very good experience with enpass so far. Other than this extension issue, which is an API issue, what are the other fronts that you say deliver an inferior experience? Also, I thought enpass also supports 2 step authentication now too
  • I cant create folders in Enpass (at least I couldnt find a way to and I have 180+ish passwords)  With the last pass extention in Chrome it auto fills or I can click within the username or password field on the site I want to log into and I can choose what it auto fils with (if more than one option) The desktop version of enpass is very basic, to me it looks as if no effort has been made on the UI front, having said that I dislike Lastpass version 4 as the UI sucks, I use 3.0 which is fantastic.  I can also limit logins by geographical locations on lastpass, cant seem to on Enpass.  A lot pf people are quick to condemn Lastpass (I dont like the mother company that bought them either) and I scratch my head as I cant see any benefit of Enpass over Lastpass aside from a nice UWP app which Lastpass are also working on.  I cant use a yubikey with Enpass, for me thats an extra layer thats diconnected from the machine or my account on mobile.
  • I can verify that you are able to create folders in Enpass. With the extension in chrome/firefox, I believe you just go to the button pinned by the URL box and select the login/passwords from there and it autofills (which you should be able to choose from different options if more than one exists). The caveat is you do need the desktop application open, which can be a con for some people. There has been a recent update to the desktop app, which doesn't change much of the UI but does help make it scale better with higher resolution monitors. I personally don't mind the UI of the desktop, but I do wish the desktop app supported Windows Hello. I hope the UWP app will eventually completely replace the desktop one. I don't think the capability of limiting logins by geographical locations exists on Enpass though and I believe you're right about yubikey as well.  I personally don't need as many advanced features, but I can see why for your needs Enpass isn't good enough yet.
  • Hope they sort it soon but I won't use an extension for a password manager if it automatically has access to my enpass passwords once I'm logged into the PC. I prefer to re-authenticate with Enpass (or other) every time I need to pull out a password otherwise any body who manages to get into the PC can get into everything else.
  • If LastPass has been ignoring the Windows ecosystem, how do you explain them being one of the first developers to support Edge with an extension?
  • Eh...I'm not sure if you checked out their 'desktop app'....looks TERRIBLE. Have used it for a couple of years (Premium member)....but the entire interface of Enpass (or 1Password which is even better) is much better. The ONLY thing that isn't quiet there yet is (both) the(ir) Edge extension...which will arrive.
  • The fact that you don't like their interface doesn't mean they've been ignoring the Windows ecosystem. I've tried many password managers, and none have worked better for me in Windows desktop browsers than LastPass. Their mobile software is iffy, but so is everyone else's.
  • Mwah...I do like the Enpass UWP App....the only thing that is not entirely working yet is the Edge Extension. If they weren't ignoring the Windows ecosystem, we already had a nice working (and iOS like) UWP Windows 10 App.
  • I figured this would be the case. I've made the switch to Enpass, and am loving it. But, I really hope MS resolves this, by providing the necessary API's.
  • Same goes for uBlock, which you can install manually. They too have some issues with limitations. Seeing as how new extensions are I'm sure MS will build out the APIs, but we're in the early days for now.
  • Rome wasnt built in a day, happy to see extention support, albeit 12 months after launch.  Will get better and happy to ditch Chrome!
  • On the MSDN forum thread, someone has posted 2 suggestions:   1.You could use both Windows.Networking.Sockets and Winsock to communicate with other devices as a UWP app developer. 2. HttpClient which use Windows.Web.Http namespace API to send and receive information using the HTTP 2.0 and HTTP 1.1 protocols.
  • I'm not 100% sure, but for me this doesn't look like an answer: App developer need to listen on localhost (which is unreachable until you allow it from about:flags), but proposed solutions are api that allow you UWP to communicate with external services, but not to listen and wait for connections from Edge Extension.
  • 1Password is facing exactly the same issues, they won't even bring out a beta version of their Edge extension, because of the missing APIs.
  • Hopefully we won't have to wait until RS2 for these APIs. And if so, MS should move RS2 back to November of this year and create a RS3 to coincide with their new hardware.
  • Microsoft may add these APIs but I really feel that this is on Enpass to have a standalone extension. Not only will it avoid this issue entirely but it will give a better user experience, need to have the Enpass app open to use the extension is a bit annoying and inconvenient.
  • Ugh... I really want to use Edge as my main browser, but with stuff like this it's hard. I was waiting for the Enpass extension to switch. I guess I'll have to wait until RS2...
  • I hope MS is accommodating. Enpass looks to be dedicated to updating and improving their app on the Windows platform, please don't send the wrong impression. Release the API's!!
  • I can't even get it to install. It doesn't recognize it's own installation files.
  • I'm running it on 4 computers, no issues.
  • I wish I could figure it out. I'm still using it with out the extension. Glad I gave it a second try after your article a few weeks ago. Took a bit of work to import and reformat my norton vault passwords, but worth the effort. Just can't get the extension to install even after following the instructions in the read me file. Not a deal breaker, but would be nice to try it.
  • It is time for Microsoft to release updates to edge through store.
  • Nice to know this now after I switched from LastPass......
  • Exactly why im happy I didnt.  WPCentral shouting and screaming about Enpass, soo much so that I started thinking they are on the payroll.  I installed Enpass and love the UWP app, very nice indeed (lastpass will have an equally good one) the rest of it though is plain, too simple, lacks features i need (I have over 180 passwords and cant create my own categories, wtf?) Maybe im using a different Enpass from everyone else and missing something but it pales against Lastpass in many ways.  It has Windows Hello....ok great, Lastpass will have that soon too.  
  • Just stick with Enpass. Still a better app than LastPass.
  • Current extensions for chrome and firefox work the same way. You have to have the desktop app open to use the extension and that's just one of the cons of using local storage, but some people prefer using local storage vs having their info on some server. Obviously having such APIs would be ideal to have communication to UWP apps and I hope microsoft can accomodate that as well! However, you can also use the browser from within the enpass app itself as a temporary substitution until the APIs come. 
  • I know this is how Enpass works for other browsers but I was hoping Enpass decided to make this a self sufficient extension that connected directly to the location of the data (OneDrive in my case). This would be a much better way to do this. I cannot bring myself to use the desktop application. I don't like it. Will continue to use the Windows apps and live without extensions for a while.
  • Me too, I dislike the Desktop version, and you have to have it installed to use the browser extention.  Not knowing that I uninstalled the Desktop and had to reinstall and ran into all sorts of issues.
  • I agree, I feel like trying to connect to a local app is the wrong way to go about this from both a technical & user experience perspective. I don't think this is on Microsoft to release APIs, I think it's on Enpass to release a self contained extension.
  • I've just started using Enpass and it's quite good so far. When the Edge extension is ready, I'll be going premium.
  • Sounds like an excuse and mediocre developers that don't even care about it.
  • Come on Microsoft, let's put a rush on this. I would love to fully move to Edge and make full use of Enpass.