Chrome password manager update:
Google is updating its built-in password manager for Chrome and Android as it tries to position it as an alternative to standalone services offered by 1 Password and Bitwarden, the company announced today. Most significant is the ability to manually add passwords to the service, rather than simply relying on Chrome’s offer to save credentials when you use them. There were previously hints of this feature in Chrome for desktop, but now Google says it’s available on “all platforms.”
The search giant also says it’s working to unify the password manager design between Chrome and Android with “a simplified and unified management experience” and says this includes a feature that will automatically group multiple passwords used on the same site. On Android, Google says a new “Tap to sign in” feature allows users to enter their credentials through an overlay at the bottom of the screen “to make sign-in even faster.”
Google’s password manager already includes the ability to check for weak and reused passwords (and automatically change them on Android) and autofill saved passwords in apps outside of Chrome on iOS. Google says it continues to invest in its password manager to support emerging technologies like passwordless access keys (which Apple also intends to bring to Safari).
Despite offering a feature set that is increasingly comparable to third-party standalone password managers, Google seems reluctant to turn its password manager into a standalone app. But, starting this month, 9to5Google reports that it’s possible to put a shortcut to Google’s password manager right on the Android home screen, a big improvement over having to dig through Android settings to find it.