If you aren’t using a password manager these days, you’re asking for trouble. However, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dashlane, and others are working towards a passwordless future using passkeys. Now, Google is finally ready to bring passkeys to our devices.
While it’s still in the beta stages, starting today, Android and Google Chrome will support signing in with passkeys. This new system will simplify sign-ins across apps, websites, and devices, by letting users simply unlock their devices.
According to a statement by Google, “Passkeys are a significantly safer replacement for passwords and other phishable authentication factors. They cannot be reused, don’t leak in server breaches, and protect users from phishing attacks.”
The idea and technology behind a passkey are to essentially replace typing a text-based password with a key that’s securely stored on your physical device, like a smartphone. This cryptography model is safer, and when you need to log into an app, your phone uses already available fingerprint or face unlock biometric data to verify the user.
For now, it looks like this is still in beta, and you’ll need to sign up for a Google Play Services beta, not to mention the Chrome Canary beta build. However, Google plans to roll this into stable channels of the official Google Chrome app later this year.
Once you’re all set, users can create a passkey on Chrome or Android. You’ll need to be on a compatible device or service, confirm your passkey info and account details, then add a fingerprint, face, or passcode to unlock your device. On a PC, you can scan a QR code to get started. Then, in the future, all you’ll need to do is unlock that device.
Developers can access these features starting today, and they should be available to more users “later this year,” according to Google.