Google has announced an Android password autofill feature that will give users the option of adding biometric authentication before the service automatically adds their password and login info.
The new feature will potentially protect users from having their login credentials compromised if their phone is lost or stolen, as with biometric authentication activated they will be protected behind facial, fingerprint or iris recognition, depending on the capabilities of the device the user has.
The update doesn’t give users the option of using a PIN or password to protect their credentials, which is a reflection of the growing trend away from what is increasingly believed to be an outdated and less secure form of security and toward biometric authentication.
Biometric authentication has been growing in popularity in recent years due in no small part to the increasing number of smartphones that feature some form of it available to consumers today. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to its rising popularity, with experts extolling its benefits in a time where verifying people’s identity remotely has become critical to many businesses.
The server-side update is rolling out now, and in order to activate it users will need to navigate through their phone’s System Settings screen to the bottom and select the ‘Google’ menu option. From there they can select ‘Autofill’ and then the ‘Autofill with Google’ options.
Another thing to note is that for the service to work users will need to ensure they aren’t using any third-party password managers, and that Google is set as their default autofill provider.