Apple Passkey Implementation Begins This Month via iOS 16

The world is preparing for a passwordless future, which Apple provides with the September 12 launch of iOS 16 and macOS Ventura next month. Known as passkeys, the password replacement will work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs, letting users log in to apps and websites and create new accounts without having to store a password. Made from a cryptographic key pair, the passkey is synced across iCloud’s Keychain. Google, Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Amazon are also in various stages of developing passkeys using standards created by the FIDO Alliance, which means they’ll all likely be interoperable.

FIDO refers to the passkeys as “multi-device FIDO credentials.” “If you are new to an app or a website, there’s the potential that you can create a passkey instead of a password from the start,” explains Wired. “But for services where you already have an account, it’s likely you will need to log in to that existing account using your password and then create a passkey.”

Once created, passkeys “can be stored in iCloud’s Keychain and synced across multiple devices — meaning your passkeys will be available on your iPad and MacBook without any extra work,” Wired adds.

Passkeys will also work in Apple’s Safari web browser and can be shared with nearby Apple devices using AirDrop. Because they’re based on FIDO Alliance standards, Apple’s passkeys can potentially be stored in other locations, like password manager Dashlane, which has announced support for the format.

Those who want to use Apple’s passkey system will need to update devices to the new operating systems. To use passkeys with apps and websites, users will need to determine whether they are passkey compatible and use the FIDO standards. “Ahead of Apple’s updates, it isn’t clear which apps or websites are already supporting passkeys, although Apple first previewed the technology to developers at its developer conference in 2021,” Wired writes.

Since passwords are currently considered a major security pain point, the consensus seems to be that passkeys, which are encrypted, offer more safety. Apple calls them “next generation security,” in its overview for developers. “Microsoft has been using some passwordless login systems for a few years now and says that ‘in the near future,’ people will be able to sign in to a Microsoft account with a passkey from an Apple or Google device,” according to Wired.

Macworld says passkeys require “almost no effort on your part after the initial setup,” and suggests users who want to try them prior to updating their operating systems try the Apple passkey using a Safari preview form that works across iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and Safari 15 with macOS 12 Monterey.

Here’s Everything Apple Announced at Its iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Event, Engadget, 9/7/22
Tim Cook Would Rather Have You Buy an iPhone Than Use RCS, TechCrunch, 9/8/22
Apple’s New iPhones Create Buzz in China, but Local Rivals Loom, The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/22
Apple Kills Off the SIM Tray on the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro in the U.S., Engadget, 9/7/22

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