Apple is set to introduce technology that’ll make passwords obsolete
Users of iOS 16 have a lot to be excited about, including customizable lock screens, enhanced notification systems, the option to unsend messages, and much more. However, there was one fairly significant feature announcement made at WWDC in June that you probably missed. Apple is preparing to deploy technology that will render passwords obsolete with the release of iOS 16, which is generally anticipated to occur in mid-September following the reveal of the next iPhone.
The concept is basic. You’ll be prompted for a passkey rather than a password when logging into an app or website. Basically, it’s a digital key that is kept on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, authenticated using Face ID or Touch ID depending on the device you’re using and synchronized digitally across all of your Apple devices using iCloud Keychain. According to Apple’s senior director of platform product marketing, Kurt Knight, “Face ID and Touch ID verification provide you with the convenience and biometrics we can achieve with an iPhone,” in an interview from August 2022, it’s more about convenience than technology. Not only do you not need to purchase another device, but you also do not even need to develop a new habit.
It’s true that using a password manager with Face ID authentication enabled doesn’t seem all that different, but this is where it gets interesting. The generated digital keys are solely stored on your devices and cannot be accessed by anyone, not even Apple. There is no “password” to steal, which makes it much harder for data breaches, hackers, and phishing assaults to get access to user accounts. If everything goes as planned, it might be the last of the increasingly complicated passwords you have to remember.
Don’t expect all of your passwords to vanish at once, even though the technology will be available on devices running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. It’s up to developers to include the functionality into their apps and websites, similar to the company’s “Sign in with Apple” feature that streamlines the sign-up and sign-in process for compatible apps. Although Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram will eventually benefit from it, first-party services like App Store verification won’t be able to offer it right away. We still don’t know for sure how long.