Chrome for Android might soon get a new password management option that will make managing your logins much easier.
Using the internet means building up a huge collection of passwords – because you don't use the same one everywhere, now, do you?
To avoid the risk of getting locked out of an account because you've forgotten your credentials, it makes sense to use a password manager to store them all securely – or you can let your browser take care of it.
Chrome has long offered the option of filling in usernames and passwords for you, and the Android version of the browser is in line for an upgrade in this area. A new option, first spotted by Techdows, is undergoing testing, and is accessible by enabling an optional flag in the mobile version.
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The new feature is labelled as "Filling passwords from any origin". This isn't a particularly helpful name, so Google offers up the following description: "Enabling this flag adds a button to the password fallback sheet. The button opens a different sheet that allows filling a password from any origin – Android".
The Chromium bug tracker reiterates that the new feature will allow users to fill in password from any origin, and points out that it will be accessible via the keyboard.
This isn't a very illuminating description either (it doesn't make clear what the developers mean by 'origin'), and as the feature doesn't seem to be active yet, we can only guess as to its exact purpose.
It might provide a way to override password synchronization on one device so you can use an updated password that you have used on another device – but this is really just speculation, and we'll have to keep an eye on how things develop.
As we've said, the feature doesn't seem to be active, but you can get an early look and monitor any changes by installing Chrome Canary for Android and following these instructions:
- Launch Chrome and pay a visit to chrome://flags
- Perform a search for Filling passwords from any origin
- Use the drop-down menu to select Enabled
- Restart Chrome using the Relaunch button
Now visit the login page for a site, tap the username field and select an account you would like to log into. Tap in the password field, and then swipe through the password bar until you see the key icon. Tap this, then scroll down and you'll see the new 'Use other password' option.
At the moment it is not clear when the feature will make its way to the stable build of Chrome for Android – or even that it definitely will. We also don't know for sure that the feature will hit the Android version of Chrome, so we'll just have to wait and see.