At the end of December, Google confirmed testing is underway on a new method of signing in to your Google account without having to enter a password.
The new method is similar to Yahoo’s ‘Account Key’, which offers users a password-free means of authentication, involving a push notification which approves account access.
Google’s latest authentication option is all about speeding up the existing process. Now, the user will only enter their email address upon signing in. After doing so, a push notification will be sent to their device, with a single tap then logging the user into their account. If the user is using the method as a way of authenticating from another device, they will be presented with a ‘Are you signing in from another device’ message. Once approved, they’re in.
This method is particularly useful for those who keep their devices nearby whilst using Google services, as well as those who have long and complicated passwords. Google hopes the new method will also help protect against phishing – something that organisation is also preparing to address with a new tool.
In the case of a device being lost or stolen, the trusty screen lock or biometric scanner will protect private data. Google advises users to sign-in to their account from another device and revoke access immediately if their device is lost or stolen.
In addition, Google says it may choose to ask for your password as an additional security measure if it notices anything unusual about your login attempt.
A spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that this experiment is underway: “We’ve invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign-in to their Google accounts, with no password required. ‘Pizza’, ‘password’ and ‘123456’ – your days are numbered from here on in.”
Google has not provided any comment on when it plans to expand access to the wider public, but the method is expected to launch on both iOS and Android in the near future.