A clever fix for Android L passwords issue

One of the more painful moments in modern life (for the security conscious, at least) could be a thing of the past thanks to a new feature unveiled in Google’s upcoming ‘L’ update for its Android mobile operating system.

Android L passwords

Android L will allow users to hand over their Wi-Fi passwords unseen, encoded on an NFC tag (sticker-type ‘tags’ with an NFC chip embedded), to any guests with an NFC-enabled phone, according to Android Police’s report.

This should save security conscious homeowners from having to tell guests a private password – as the password can be handed over without the guest ever seeing it. The ‘tags’ can be encoded by any phone running Android L with its own NFC chip.

So far, NFC (Near Field Communication) chips have shipped inside Android devices from manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Sony – and allow enabled handsets to read codes from other phones, or from stickers, posters and pamphlets with NFC tags built in.

Secure Wi-Fi sharing

The upcoming Android L update (released to developers this week, and available to the public this coming fall) will allow home users to encode their password directly to an NFC chip, which can then be read by guests by tapping a mobile phone on them. Take a look at this full video preview of Android L by Droid Life.

Android Police says, “ You know the scenario: friends come over, want to use your Wi-Fi, and expect you to just hand over the password. In L, there’s an option to[write the code to an NFC tag] directly from the Wi-Fi settings menu. Just long-press on the network, select the “write to NFC tag” option, fill in the password, and write away. Now all your visitors with NFC-capable phones can simply tap the tag to join the Wi-Fi network. Easy peasy.”

Google’s upcoming Android L update will also help users do away with passwords – at least for dedicated Google fans, with Google devices like Android Wear watches used to authenticate users instead of PIN codes or passwords in the new update.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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