2023 may be the year the password finally dies. Following Apple’s announcement that Safari in macOS 13 and iOS 16 will support the standard, Google has announced that passkeys are now supported in Chrome Stable M108.
Passkeys are a simpler and more secure login standard for websites that lets you use an encrypted key rather than a password to authenticate apps and websites. The process is similar to Apple’s two-factor authentication in that you’ll use a portable device to validate your credentials, but you won’t need to set or remember an actual password or use a one-time code. Rather, the device will generate a private key that acts as your login password when your device is nearby. As Google simply explains: “From the user’s point of view, using passkeys is very similar to using saved passwords, but with significantly better security.”
The Chrome process is similar to Safari’s. When you log into a website on your Mac, you’ll be prompted to create a passkey with your username on your iPhone using Bluetooth or a QR code. Once authenticated via a biometric or device passcode, the passkey will save to your device and allow access. The passkey authentication will save to your device. Google says passkeys on macOS will sync in a future update.
Apple requires that your Apple ID has two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID when creating passkeys. They’re also end-to-end encrypted in iCloud Keychain.
Passkeys have been somewhat slow to become mainstream, but now that Google and Apple are both supporting them in their browsers, adoption should pick up. The feature is rolling out as part of version 108.0.5359.98 and you can see your passkeys in the Autofill section of Chrome’s preferences.
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