Google I/O 2021: Looking at a “password-free future”, Google adds upgrades to password manager
One of the main things Google highlighted over the Google I/O event last evening was that the company is stepping up on their privacy and security features with upgrades coming to your password manager among other things. The ultimate goal, it seems, is to eliminate the use of passwords entirely. A portion of last night’s event was all about the changes Google is bringing in to improve user safety online including an option to delete your last search query.
Taking a step towards this “password-free future”, Google is adding four upgrades to the password manager, the first of which is a simplified onboarding process that will allow users to import passwords from other password managers. Google also promises a deeper integration between Chrome and Android so as passwords can be used across both websites and apps.
Most importantly, Google is adding automatic password alerts that will inform users when their passwords have been compromised in a third-party breach. Memorising passwords is hard, as Google points out, and “not only that: changing passwords is itself a tedious task. You have to navigate to the site, sign in, find the account settings, open the password page — and then save it. Rinse and repeat on all your favorite sites, and that's a lot of work,”. Google’s password manager will help you create strong and unique passwords for all your accounts even if the site is not supported yet.
On supported sites, whenever you check your passwords if Chrome finds a password that may have been compromised, you will see a “Change password” prompt from the Assistant. Tapping on that will take you to the site where you need to change the password and also help you through it with a single tap. You can also control the entire experience and do the whole process of changing passwords manually from scratch if you want to.
In 2019 Google added a feature to its accounts that helps limit how long user information is saved on it and automatically deletes it. Google announced last evening that they have made auto-delete active for user information by default on new accounts and it is currently active for at least 2 billion accounts. Additionally, Google is also adding a feature that will allow you to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history. This can be done by clicking on your account profile picture on the Google Search pages.
Google Maps is also going to warn users that they are seeing their recent or often-viewed locations on maps since their Location History is turned on. The option to turn it off is going to be available on the timeline. Upping their security and privacy plans, Google is adding a locked folder on Google Photos on Android devices that can be protected with a password and saved separately from the rest of the collection. Photos in this folder will not show up when you are scrolling through the app or on any other app on the device. Google has added a few more upgrades to Google Photos, you can check them out here.