Apple's small step into a passwordless future
Apple's small step into a passwordless future

Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and macOS Monterey introduce a new feature called Passkeys in iCloud Keychain that aims to help replace passwords with a more secure login process.

The WWDC demo showed how to use Face ID, Touch ID, or a security key to access instead of logging into an app or website with a text string.

Then use iCloud to sync the keys between your Apple devices.

While passwords are currently the most popular method of account security, they also present a number of issues.

The password can be phishing and forgettable. It can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. However, Apple believes that its new solution can fix these issues.

In the demo, Apple demonstrated how the new functionality could initially eliminate the need to create a password to sign in to an app or website.

Apple engineer Garrett Davidson, as usual, did not create a username and password during the registration process. Alternatively, enter a username and allow the app to register its own face ID as a key.

Next, explain how he will log into the app with Face ID in the future and even log into his account through the service website. This solution also applies to Macs with Touch ID.

This feature is based on the WebAuthn standard, which is slowly being added over time by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other companies.

Apple is in the process of removing passwords:

Apple added support for the standard last year to allow passwordless login in Safari browsers on iOS and macOS.

However, the new method goes even further by integrating WebAuthn with the app registration process and syncing your credentials between Apple devices via iCloud.

WebAuthn uses public key encryption technology that allows you to sign in without leaving your device.

Instead, your phone or computer just needs to send you a signature to prove your identity without sharing your secret key.

Apple acknowledges that this feature is still in its infancy. It was only released as a preview this year. It is disabled by default in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey.

Developers can activate it. But it is not supposed to be widespread. Another obvious limitation is that this feature relies on iCloud, so you can't use it to sign in to the same service from your Windows or Android device.

However, Apple acknowledged that this was an issue and indicated that it is working to improve cross-platform support in the future. Apps and sites should also support the new process.

This move is another sign of the growth momentum behind password abandonment. Microsoft has announced plans to make Windows 10 passwordless. Google allows you to connect to its services without a password.

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