Apple’s upcoming iOS 15 and macOS Monterey will preview a new feature called “Passkeys in iCloud Keychain,” which is an attempt to help replace passwords with a more secure login process. Instead of logging into an app or website using string of text, a WWDC presentation showed how you could instead use Face ID, Touch ID, or a security key, to gain access. The Passkeys are then synced across your Apple devices using iCloud.
Although passwords are currently the most popular way to secure accounts, they’re plagued with a host of problems. Passwords can be phished, forgotten, and they’re insecure if not used properly (think about the number of times you’ve been tempted to re-use one across multiple accounts). But Apple thinks its new Passkeys solution can solve these problems, as shown by the comparison table below.
In a demonstration, Apple showed how the new feature could remove the need to ever create a password to sign in to an app or website in the first place. Instead of creating a username and password during the sign-up process like normal, Apple authentication experience engineer Garrett Davidson just enters a username and allowed the app to register his Face ID as a Passkey. Then he showed how he could use Face ID to log into the app in future, or even log into his account via the service’s website. It works on Macs with Touch ID, too.