Half Mag / Half Zine

Passkeys are now available to use in Chrome. Google added the passwordless secure login standard this week to Chrome Stable M108 after going through a testing period that started in October.

The feature now works using Chrome on both desktop and mobile running Windows 11, macOS, and Android. Google also lets you sync passkeys from Android to other devices through either the company’s own password manager or a third-party one that supports it, like 1Password or Dashlane.

A passkey is a unique identity that’s stored on your computer, phone, or other device like a USB security key. For websites or applications that have implemented the passkey API, it can let you log in through a simple and quick confirmation combined with your device’s biometrics or other secure authentication.

Passkeys are great for security in that there’s no password involved that could get leaked. And since all of the major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are working together in adopting the technology (and the name), the experience should become device-agnostic. The tech is built on the FIDO standard using public key cryptography, which is what makes the cross-platform aspect possible.

The usefulness of passkeys in Chrome — and other browsers — will come down to sites implementing the WebAuthn API to accept passkeys. Some online stores like Best Buy have already added it, and services like PayPal also have it enabled.