With its upcoming annual update to its Safari browser, Apple is aiming to markedly improve security through the integration of a built-in password manager that will be paired with biometric security when used on an iPhone or iPad, according to a Computerworld report.
The functionality comes by way of a new API that will allow developers to enable password field autofill for users in their apps and sites. On iOS 12, that will mean that strong passwords will automatically be used in Safari, and they will be validated with a biometric scan – either with Face ID on whatever Apple devices are sporting the facial recognition system by the time the new operating system launches, or with the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system.
The password manager API was unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference together with other new measures aimed at enhancing user security and privacy, such as a feature designed to stop social media platforms from tracking users through Share and Like buttons. And while the password manager API will certainly facilitate some more convenience for Safari users on a laptop or desktop, on Apple’s mobile devices it could significantly enhance security thanks to its pairing with biometric authentication.
There’s a pretty wide consensus that password-based security is nearly redundant, or at best inadequate, but it remains inescapable on the web for now. So Apple is taking an important step by pairing it with biometric authentication on mobile, while still making the whole process easier for users by remembering their passwords for them.