Google has announced initial passkey support for Android and Chrome today. This first phase gives developers access to the technology by using Google Play Services beta and Chrome Canary and lets them add support for this feature to their websites and apps.
The search giant hopes to launch support for the feature to stable channels later this year, by which time some developers will have already incorporated the technology into their products. For those who don’t know, the passkey is a new industry standard that removes the need for people to remember passwords for different services. They are synced in password managers like Google Password Manager and work across devices. Cloud backups help to ensure you always have access to accounts even if your device gets lost.
The passkey interface is similar to the autofill interface that Chrome mobile users will already be familiar with. Using a passkey is as simple as selecting the account you want to log in with, and then using your fingerprint, face, or screen lock to gain access. If you want to, you can use the passkey on your phone to sign in on a nearby device. The website you want to log in to on your computer can offer a QR code that you can scan on your phone to approve access.
The next milestone for Google is to bring API support to native Android apps. Developers who build support into their apps will give users the option to use their passkey or password to sign in. As passkeys become more popular, there will be less need to create and remember passwords, which could lead to fewer account breaches by hackers.
Passkeys are an industry standard that has had input from Apple, Microsoft, and Google as part of the FIDO Alliance and the W3C.