While strong passwords can truly secure your online accounts, they inherently come with a few drawbacks — they are hard to remember and can end up in the hands of bad actors. Google, Apple, and other tech giants want to replace passwords with passkeys, which eliminate most of the drawbacks of traditional passwords. With Credential Manager, Google wants to offer you an easy way to access passkeys on Android, and some of its user-facing changes could be just around the corner.
The Credential Manager API lets app developers offer a clean and uniform authentication flow when signing in to an app on Android. In apps that have this API integrated, you will be able to choose from all the login options attached to the service — passkeys, Sign in with Google, and passwords — from the same window. It will automatically suggest the most secure way to sign in, reducing the number of steps required from your end.
Credential Manager was first showcased in February, but it has now entered its beta stage, allowing more developers to try it on their apps. Once enabled, you can tap on Sign-in options to see your other login methods if you don’t want to use the suggested one (as shown in the image below). This saves you from jumping between different interfaces or apps for passkeys and your older passwords while signing in to a service.
What will further streamline this process is the support for third-party password managers, as Google had earlier promised. You will be able to continue using your password manager of choice without needing to switch to Google’s own solution to use passkeys on Android. Dashlane already supports Credential Manager and more of its peers are expected to come onboard soon.
However, the API requires at least Android 14 for these third-party password managers to work, so your device options may be limited initially. In this case, you could stick to a good-quality password manager to store and generate strong passwords until passkeys become mainstream.
Passkeys are already supported by quite a few popular Android apps, but not a lot of them currently support Credential Manager. Kayak and Shopify are the only two apps that have integrated the API, but more developers should now have the incentive to jump on the bandwagon.