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Articles Tagged:

password management


Opinion: Google Smart Lock for Passwords is underused, underrated, and I wish more Android developers implemented it

You'd be forgiven if you don't remember what Google Smart Lock, aka Smart Lock for Passwords, is. The functionality, which aims to bridge your Google-saved website and service logins on Chrome with those in your Android apps, showed up almost three years ago in the Android M Dev Preview then started rolling to pre-Marshmallow devices. Codenamed YOLO for You Only Login Once, it is the precursor to the Autofill API we saw in Oreo and a solution to all those services that don't use a Google/Facebook/Twitter account login.

Right now, I can count the apps that I know of that support Smart Lock on exactly two hands: Netflix and Netflix for Android TVWordPressFlipboardWazeNestNYTimes, FitbitNokia Health Mate, and most recently NBC.

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Smart Lock Passwords Is Now Going Live On Pre-Android M Devices, Web Interface Is Active Too

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.

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Smart Lock Now Acts As A Password Manager Using Your Google Account For Both Chrome And Android

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.

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