The upcoming iOS 15 e macOS Monterey Apple will preview a new feature called “Passkeys in iCloud Keychain“, Which can translate into an attempt to replace the use of passwords with a more secure login process. Instead of accessing an app or website using a text string, in the future, you will be able to gain access using Face ID, Touch ID or a security key. The Passkeys will also be synchronized on all Apple devices via iCloud.
Although passwords are the most popular way to protect an account, they are plagued by a variety of problems. Passwords can be subject to phishing, forget and above all they may not be that safe, especially if you are using the same for multiple accounts. Apple therefore thinks its new Passkeys solution can solve password problems, as the comparison table below shows.
As The Verge reports, Apple during WWDC 2021 demonstrated how the new feature could eliminate the need to create a password to go to an app or site. Instead of creating a username and password during the registration process – as is normal – Engineer Garrett Davidson simply enters a username and allows the app to register his Face ID as a Passkey. Then just use the Face ID to access the app in the future or even enter the account from the web version via Mac, thanks to Touch ID.
Functionality is based on the standard WebAuthn, for which Apple, Google, Microsoft and many others have added support over the past few years. For example, Apple last year added support for offering passwordless logins in Safari on iOS and macOS. But the new feature Apple anticipated is a deeper approach, which allows WebAuthn to be integrated into the process of registering an app and synchronizing credentials via iCloud.
Apple has made it clear that its functionality is in the early stages: Will premiere this year in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, but will be disabled by default and is not currently intended for widespread use. An obvious one limitation is that this approach is based on iCloud, so you cannot access the same service on a Windows or Android device. Apple has admitted that it is a problem and that it is working for improve cross-platform support in the future. Apps and websites will also need to enable support for the new process. In short, everything is still in the initial stages, but the functionality promises really well: imagine how beautiful it will be a world without a password.