Chrome 67 (opens in new tab) is hitting desktops today, with support for password-free logins courtesy of Web Authentication (WebAuthn), plus improved support for sensors and virtual reality headsets.
WebAuthn is an open standard that lets you access your accounts using biometric data, a mobile app, or a portable device like a YubiKey (opens in new tab). This can either replace passwords, or supplement them as two-factor authentication to make your accounts more secure in addition to a free password manager.
It made its mainstream browser debut last month with the release of Firefox 60, and should be arriving in Microsoft Edge very soon. Apple has also pledged its support for the standard, though it hasn't specified when it might appear in Safari.
Its main appeal is protection from phishing attacks, because there's no fixed line of characters (like an alphanumeric password) that grants access.
Sensors and sensibility
It's not just security – Chrome 67 also adds support for several other technologies that'll help you have more fun on the web.
The browser now supports the Generic Sensor API (opens in new tab), which enables web apps to use input from components including accelerometers and ambient light sensors. For example, a web app could display a 3D model, which you could see from different angles by rotating your device. That's something you can currently do in desktop apps, but hasn't previously been possible in Chrome.
There's also support for the WebXR Device API (opens in new tab), which will make virtual reality experiences more consistent across different devices. That includes mobile-based VR headsets like Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR, and desktop-hosted headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality Headsets.
It'll be up to web app developers to decide how to use the API, but Google suggests it could be used to improve immersive 360-degree videos, home shopping experiences, and 3D art installations.
Chrome 67 (opens in new tab) is available to download now for Windows, macOS and Linux.