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May 30, 2015

Google shows off Smart Lock automatic login password manager

Smart lockAmong all the information that Google spewed out during their I/O 2015 last week regarding Android M, which will be the next version of the Android OS was some slightly, what some might call lesser high-profile announcements.


In amongst them was a new cross-device password manager they’re calling Smart Lock for Passwords. You would be mistaken for thinking that it sounded like a basic “remember username/password” request in a browser, but it goes beyond that and works within Android apps too.

It starts out working just like mentioned above; you enter login credentials for the first time in apps that supports Smart Lock, and if you choose to have those credentials saved, the information will be entered automatically the next time you’re asked to log in. Credentials are stored online, so automatic logins are extended to any Android device with your Google account, include Chrome on the desktop.

Smart lock2

Netflix is one of the first big names to support Smart Lock, so you can log into their app on your phone once, and then never have to worry about entering usernames or passwords for Netflix on your tablet or Android TV again. If you enter credential for the first time in Chrome, they will be available next time for the apps on your mobile device.
Other apps and services that have been confirmed to integrate Smart Lock include The New York Times, Orbitz, Instacart, and Eventbrite. It won’t work with just any app automatically, developers must use Google’s Credential API to add Smart Lock to their app.
What may be most concerning for users is the idea of storing passwords online with Google, a company that likely already has control over a large amount of users’ private data. It isn’t exactly clear what measures Google is taking to keep credentials secure, but Smart Lock is optional, so if users aren’t comfortable they don’t have to use it.


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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini