When you login to a website, most modern web browsers ask if you’d like them to remember your password. And some of those browsers, like Google Chrome, can sync your password between devices so that if your home computer knows your Netflix and Facebook passwords, you can automatically login to them at work just by logging into your Google account.
Now Google is bringing the same sort of password management to Android apps.
Smart Lock for Android is a new feature that allows your Android device to store usernames and passwords for your apps. This can come in handy if you’ve got apps that have a habit of logging you out from time to time. And it can really come in handy if you buy a new phone or have multiple Android devices, since it means the only password you have to enter is the one for Google.
Smart Lock for Passwords is part of Google’s new Identity platform, but you probably don’t need to do anything to access the feature. It’s rolling out as part of Google Play Services 7.5, which means that it’ll be available as an automatic update for most phones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later.
Not all apps will support Smart Lock for Passwords at launch. Developers will need to add support for the feature. But launch partners include the New York Times, Eventbrite, Netflix, LinkedIn, Instacart, and Orbitz.
Personally I prefer to use a third-party password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane rather than give Google access to all of my account login details. But there’s certainly something to be said for the convenience of automatic sign-ons.