Google Starts Ditching Passwords in Web Logins for Android Users

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Google Starts Ditching Passwords in Web Logins for Android Users

Last year Chrome for Android picked up the Web Authentication API and CTAP support, and later snagged fingerprint-based authentication.

The new feature is arriving on Google Pixel devices today and access will arrive on all Android phones running Nougat or later over the next few days.

While individual apps have always been able to access and use Android's fingerprint authentication technology, this is the first time the company has allowed biometrics to be used to verify user identities on the web. It essentially replaces traditional passwords for more secure and convenient alternatives, including fingerprint scans and facial recognition. If you're interested in giving this a try, head on over to https://passwords.google.com, pick a site to add a password on and follow the instructions to verify yourself signing on. However, with this method, credentials are stored locally on your device so they can't be intercepted or hacked off a company's servers, and they're also impossible to "phish" by tricking you into visiting a fake website.

This change is part of Google's strategy to reduce reliance on passwords and shift to more secure two-factor authentication methods. Google said by using FIDO2, it can use the same authentication method both on the web and in the app.

As demonstrated in the GIF, using your fingerprint to access your account information is as easy as selecting the "use your lock screen" option and then scanning your fingerprint when the prompt appears on your screen.

There's nothing extra for you to set up: if you have a Google account attached to your Android phone this will work for you. And you can test out how well this new system works by running a little test on your Android device. Assisting family and colleges with "lost" passwords is just no fun any more.

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