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May 30, 2015

Google's Smart Lock for Passwords

Google Play Services brings an interesting feature: a Smart Lock for passwords and connected accounts. This feature is enabled by default and it allows the passwords of your apps and websites to be saved to your Google account. By default, Google automatically signs in to apps and websites connected to your account, but this feature can be disabled.


Chrome already has a syncing feature for passwords, so the new Smart Lock uses it to bring the same passwords to apps. For example, Google could save your Facebook password and it could use it to sign in to your account in the native Facebook app.

Android Police reports that Smart Lock works in the Netflix app and developers need to use a new API to add support. Other Android apps that support this feature: Eventbrite, Instacart, New York Times, Orbitz.



"Google Smart Lock for Passwords takes the hassle out of keeping your accounts safe for your favorite apps and websites. Smart Lock can save passwords to your Google Account and then help you use your passwords securely and conveniently on the websites you use in Chrome and the apps you use on your Android devices," informs Google.

There's also a page that shows your saved passwords: you can find it at passwords.google.com. "Your passwords from Chrome and Android are saved with Google Smart Lock and accessible to you across devices," explains Google. Unfortunately, this page doesn't show your passwords if you use a sync passphrase to encrypt your synced data in Chrome: "you can access your data within Chrome on your syncing devices, but not from this website." A help center page mentions that you can't use Smart Lock for Passwords on Android if you set a sync passphrase.


If you don't have a sync passphrase, the page shows your passwords and lets you delete them. Click the eye icon to see a password.


You can remove the sync passphrase from this page, but this also deletes your Chrome data from Google's servers. The good news is that this doesn't clear data from your devices, so you can sign in again to start syncing.

{ Thanks, Herin Maru. }

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