One of the coolest bits of news from Google I/O last week was the expansion of Smart Lock into password management. If your Google account has a saved password for a service, Smart Lock can automatically log you into an app. The newest addition to the list of supported apps is the official New York Times app.
Smart Lock Passwords is Google's recent and ambitious attempt at simplifying logins everywhere, be it apps on Android or websites on Chrome. The functionality first showed up on the Android M Developer Preview then quickly went live for older versions of Android and got its own web interface.
Because the idea behind Smart Lock is that you only have to be logged into your Google account, and sign into your various apps / sites once for the credentials to be associated with your account and used automatically going forward, Google had a very interesting code name for the option that Artem picked up at I/O from one of the company's engineers: YOLO. Read More
One of the relatively hidden treasures of yesterday's I/O announcements and Android M preview release was Smart Lock Passwords, which takes credentials you've signed in with on Chrome or for Android apps and automatically signs you in on those platforms in the future. At launch, there are not many app partners, but developers need only use a now-public API to add support. Today, Lollipop users with relatively recent Google Play Services are finding the new feature enabled on their devices as well. Read More
Buried in the newly-located Google settings is a curious area called "Smart Lock Passwords." While it doesn't make its function very clear, once you try to sign in with one of the supported apps, it gets much more obvious. Take, for instance, Netflix, one of this feature's launch partners. After signing in as you would normally, Smart Lock will ask if you'd like to store your password for future use.
Now, at this point, you haven't really seen the fun part. Storing passwords is one thing, but making them useful is another. To demonstrate, I uninstalled the Netflix app and then opened it for the first time. Read More
This is it, folks. This is the version of Play Services that will be running on our phones and tablets when Google I/O 2015 kicks off in just 6 days. There are things in here that will certainly make the keynote, so if you don't want any spoilers, close this page immediately! There's no point in beating around the bush when we've got so much to talk about, so let's get to the good stuff.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
Google has been rolling out updates to Smart Lock over the past months, adding On-body detection and Trusted voice, and while this recent change doesn't bring other options to the table, it does make the feature more user-friendly.
Previously, if you had set your Android phone or tablet to trust a certain place, Bluetooth device, or any of your physical attributes, it would keep your phone unlocked when those variables were in effect, but you'd still come across a secure lock screen if you left your handset untouched for a period of time. We didn't have any explanation as to the duration of the lock trigger, but that's changing now. Read More
Google just announced all of the great new APIs developers would be able to play with from the Google Play services, and now we've got some apks to check out. As usual, there aren't a lot of user-facing features in the GMS package, so don't expect to see any huge changes immediately after installation. However, there are at least a couple of interesting bits and pieces that stand out in a side-by-side comparison.
The only immediately obvious difference (that actually does something) is a relocation of the security code generator. This is a simple little tool Google occasionally uses for creating verification codes for emergency authorizations. Read More
As the resident teardown guy, Update Wednesday was a huge letdown this week. After slicing and dicing a dozen or so apks, all I saw were bug fixes, minor adjustments, and updates with full changelogs. Come on Google, I can't write about the neat stuff if none of the secrets are allowed to leave Mountain View. Fortunately, I did get to look at an unreleased version of Play Services, and there are a few interesting things to take away from it. (Sorry, we don't have an APK to share with this one.)
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and based on incomplete evidence.
The Smart Lock feature that has been slowly cooking in the Chrome OS dev and beta channels has made its way into the latest stable release, version 40. Now anyone with a phone running Android 5.0 or later (sorry, no tablets) can automatically unlock their Chromebook just by keeping the two devices within 100 feet of each other.
You can find the option tucked away under advanced settings. In this shot I've scrolled the area to the top and have already turned things on.
Smart Lock is still in beta, but so far it works-ish. I find the feature to be amusing in practice. Read More