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Google Introduces Smart Lock for Passwords

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Google has announced at I/O 2015 the Google Identity Platform, a collection of tools and APIs for managing identities and dealing with authentication and authorization across Android, iOS and web applications.

Besides the familiar Sign-in, enabling users to log in with their Google account, Google has introduced Smart Lock for Passwords, currently available on Android and perhaps will be made available on iOS too. Smart Lock for Passwords is a credentials manager inspired by Chrome’s password manager, and can be used to store email/password or federated identity credentials. Once saved, credentials are made available across all Android devices and Chrome instances belonging to an user. The idea is to let Android and web applications to store log in credentials that are automatically retrieved and filled in next time users start the application, so they would not have to manually enter the respective information.

Smart Lock for Passwords has been introduced with Play Services 7.5 and is available on Android 2.3+.

Google has also updated the Identity Toolkit providing the tools for working with email/password and federated credentials on Android, iOS and web. This toolkit supports federated sign in from AOL, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Paypal, and Yahoo. It comes with libraries for the respective platforms including functionality needed to perform log in, account linking, email or password change.

Announced some time ago, a number of authentication protocols have been deprecated and related services shut down, including OpenID 2.0, developers being recommended to switch to Google Sign-in. This timetable provides more details on deprecated protocols and suggested actions to take. 

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