Google has announced that it will be supporting passkeys on Android and Chrome. Passkeys are an authentication method that offers an alternative to passwords, and the technology was announced by Apple over the summer at its WWDC conference.
For users, using a passkey is similar to confirming the use of a saved password by scanning one’s fingerprint or using facial recognition.
“We have worked with others in the industry, including Apple and Microsoft, and members within the FIDO Alliance and the W3C to drive secure authentication standards for years. We have shipped support for W3C Webauthn and FIDO standards since their inception. Today is another important milestone, but our work is not done. Google remains committed to a world where users can choose where their passwords, and now passkeys, are stored,” Diego Zavala, product manager for Android; Christiaan Brand, product manager for Account Security at Google; Ali Naddaf, software engineer of Identity Ecosystems at Google; and Ken Buchanan, software engineer for Chrome, wrote in a blog post.
The announcement today enables two capabilities related to passkeys. First, users will now be able to create and use passkeys on Android. The passkeys are synced through Google’s Password Manager.
Second, developers can incorporate passkey support into their applications using the WebAuthn API for Chrome applications. Google’s next major milestone towards supporting passkeys will be to offer an API for native Android apps.
According to Google, the passkeys that are created through that API will work with apps that are affiliated with the same domain. Google believes that the API will also provide a unified way to let users choose if they want to use a passkey or password.
“Seamless, familiar UX for both passwords and passkeys helps users and developers gradually transition to passkeys,” the team wrote.