Google to let you use certain services without a password on your Android phone

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Passwords are one of those annoying inconveniences of our current tech-driven world. While we most definitely need them to keep information and access secure, it can become increasingly difficult to remember password sacross all these different sites – which is often why people just use the same simple password everywhere they go (PS: use password managers).

Google wants to ease some of that password pain for many of its Android users by using the OS other forms of verification, like fingerprint scanning, as proof enough that you are the one using your device and thereby removing the need to log in or save passwords for different Google sites and services. Something which should make browsing on different sites in Chrome a whole lot easier.

Google’s new functionality (as revealed by The Verge) is built using FIDO2 and the WebAuthn protocol, an open standard that sites can use to secure web-based logins. FIDO2 is much more secure than regular passwords. All Android devices running version 7.0 or later are FIDO2-certified, and so Google will now let you use an Android phone as a 2FA security key to log in to your account using the same technology.

If you have a compatible Android handset, then you can try the functionality out now by heading over to passwords.google.com using the Chrome app on your phone. This service lets you manage the passwords that Chrome has saved for you. If you tap on any one of these saved passwords, you should be prompted to verify that it is you using s fingerprint or whatever other methods you have chosen for your device. You will need your personal Google Account added to your Android device for this to work.

The new feature is available starting today for some Android phones, and it will be rolling out to all phones running Android 7 or later “over the next few days.” Hopefully, this includes your grandmother’s phone so that she can stop bothering you about passwords every time she visits those weird sites she frequents.  

Last Updated: August 14, 2019

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