Google Advances Security with Credential Manager on Android

Lindsay Robertson / 28 Jul 2023

Google Advances Security with Credential Manager on Android image

Google's Credential Manager is the tech giant's answer to enhancing online security and simplifying the authentication process. This novel innovation seeks to replace traditional passwords, which are often challenging to remember and can fall into the wrong hands. Google, along with other industry leaders like Apple, is pushing for the adoption of passkeys, which offer a more secure and user-friendly alternative to passwords.

The Credential Manager API allows app developers to facilitate a seamless and consistent login flow in Android applications. With this API integrated, users will have the flexibility to select from all the available login options for a service, including passkeys, Sign in with Google, and traditional passwords, from a single window. Furthermore, it can suggest the safest login method, significantly reducing user effort.

Although introduced in February, the Credential Manager has now moved into its beta phase, making it available to a wider pool of developers. When activated, users can simply tap on 'Sign-in options' to explore other login methods, saving them from toggling between different interfaces or apps for passkeys and existing passwords. This approach not only saves time but also enhances the user experience.

Google has also promised support for third-party password managers, allowing users to continue using their preferred manager without having to switch to Google's passkey system. Dashlane is one of the first to support Credential Managers, and more are expected to follow suit. However, the API requires Android 14 at least for these third-party password managers to function, which might limit initial device options.

Several popular Android apps already support passkeys, but many are yet to integrate with Credential Manager. Currently, Kayak and Shopify are the only apps using the API. However, the launch of the beta phase is expected to encourage more developers to adopt this system, promoting stronger security across Android applications.

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