Google’s popular Chromebook laptops could soon do away with passwords entirely with a new system where simply bringing a phone near the laptop opens up the OS.
A new feature has appeared in the Chrome developer channel which hints at a password-free way of unlocking the increasingly popular, simple laptops made by Google.
According to TechCrunch’s report, a page in the channel says, “With Easy Unlock, you can instantly unlock your Chromebook when you and your phone are nearby, no password necessary.”
Android Police reports that the feature is disabled by default, but once the option has been selected, it will automatically be enabled (for developers testing the feature) at start-up.
Chromebooks aren’t a household name – but they are the only laptops on Earth whose sales figures are actually going up, with an NPD report suggesting that among preconfigured notebooks, Chromebooks now account for 21% of all sales, as reported by ZDNet.
Google has become increasingly vocal about its opposition to passwords. “Passwords are done at Google,” said Heather Adkins, Google’s information security chief – and said that “the game is over” for start-ups relying on passwords as the chief method to keep users secure, as reported by We Live Security.
Its makers claims that it’s “faster and safer than typing a password. You never have to open the app— just knock on your phone twice, even when it’s in your pocket, and you’re in.”
The system is also more secure than it sounds, according to GigaOM’s report – a Mac with the corresponding Knock app for OS X won’t open for any old iPhone with Knock installed, it has to be the one it’s paired with.