Android users could soon see their beloved smartphone become a lot more secure. That’s because Google is thought to be planning a vital update that promises to make saved login data to all of your favourite websites as secure as what Apple offers with the iPhone.
As spotted by the team at XDA Developers, Google appears to be testing biometric authentication for autofill on Android. Although many Android apps already need fingerprint or facial recognition to access personal data, the same can’t be said when surfing the web.
As it stands, once you have access to an Android device, it’s possible to launch the Chrome web browser and login to any websites that you’ve asked Google to save the login data in the past – without any extra verification. So, if you’ve asked Chrome to remember your Facebook login, and hand someone your handset to show them a photo, then they’ll be able to launch Chrome and immediately autofill the Facebook login credentials – without the phone checking who wants to login.
That’s a stark contrast with the iPhone, which re-verifies who is holding the smartphone with a fingerprint (Touch ID) or a facial scan (Face ID) before filling in the all-important login information saved on the handset.
There’s no word on when we can expect this update to be pushed out, but it’s most likely that Pixel users will get access to it first. The Pixel 4 boasts some of the best biometrics on a smartphone with its face unlock offering one of the fastest and most secure ways to access your home screen.
We’ll have to wait and see when Google finally announces a launch but it will surely be a welcomed addition should it get a release. News of this update comes as another popular upgrade could also arrive on Android phones this year.
There’s been plenty of rumours circulating on the web that the Mountain View firm was hard at work on a new share system called Nearby Sharing designed to transfer photos, videos and even URL links or copied text to other Android devices.
Now it seems we may have got our first look at this feature in action.
XDA Developers showed new images of Nearby Sharing from a new build of Google’s Play Services. An information prompt said the feature requires both Bluetooth and Location to be turned on and that a device’s Wi-Fi hotspot may be enabled temporarily to share items with others.
Google has never officially announced its new sharing system, but as noted by the publication, its rebrand could suggest its release isn’t far away.