Google Services Going Passwordless on Android

Starting with Pixel devices, the new feature will allow you to login to something like Gmail on the web, or other Google services like YouTube online using your phone's fingerprint scanner or screen lock. When you visit Google Passwords or other select Google services on your mobile web browser (i.e. not an Android app), you will be able to authenticate your identity using your phone's screen unlock protocol.

Google points out to those anxious about privacy, that fingerprints are never sent to Google's servers and are stored securely on the user's phone.

The authentication methods now available will largely mirror the options you have when unlocking your phone.

Testing the feature on a Pixel 3a running Android Q DP6. This week, though, all phones with Android Nougat+ (and a fingerprint reader) will have access. The authentication happens on-device, only a key demonstrating the validity of your fingerprint is sent online. It's still secure, there's an implied lineage of authentication history (associated devices are "Bootstrapped" as Google calls it), it's just a whole lot more convenient than typing your password.

Follow the instructions to verify that it is you signing in.

What Google did say in its blog posts was "you will start seeing more places where local alternatives to passwords are accepted as an authentication mechanism for Google and Google Cloud services", so that gives us some hope for a password less future. That means that the part of your brain that stored these passwords can be freed up for more important things like pop culture trivia.

There is nothing you need to do to set this up on your Android phone. It's another huge step to eliminating the need for you to remember or enter text-based passwords.