Standalone password managers like 1Password and Bitwarden, among others, are getting more common with each passing day, which has prompted Google to update its built-in password manager for Chrome and position it as an alternative to the other third-party options.
The most significant update is Google’s password manager now gives you the ability to manually add passwords to the platform, rather than simply relying on Chrome’s offer to save credentials when you use them. This particular feature had already been rolled out to a few users on the desktop version of Chrome, but now Google emphasizes it has been rolled across all platforms.
Google also promises to integrate the design of the password manager so that it works across the whole Android ecosystem, rather than being restricted to only Chrome. They say this will make the service “a simplified and unified management experience” and they also promise to make it possible to automatically group multiple passwords used on the same site.
To make it even easier to log in, Google on Android lets you use a new “Touch to login” feature, which consists of an overlay at the bottom of the screen for easier accessibility.
Despite using a password manager, the use of weak and reused passwords still poses a threat to your data and accounts, since when one website is compromised, the password you had set there can be used to access your other accounts on different sites if you had reused it.
Google checks for this vulnerability and has the ability to automatically change the reused passwords on Android. However, note that this ability to automatically change your reused passwords is only available to a limited number of websites that are eligible.
The tech giant says that it will continue to invest in the password manager and support emerging technologies like passwordless passkeys, which we had earlier talked about. Apple also intends to introduce the passkeys to Safari.
At the moment, the main advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it is that Google’s password manager does not exist as a standalone app like other third-party apps.
However, should you need something close to a standalone app, you can add a shortcut to the password manager directly on your Android home screen. Which is admittedly better than having to manually look for it on your Android settings.
The password manager from Google is also free, unlike a few other third-party password managers that lock a few key features behind a paywall including the ability to sync your account between various devices