LastPass is my password manager of choice and I love the way it works with Android to automatically fill in passwords and usernames in apps I download. In Android O, however, apps like LastPass are about to get a whole lot better, and now the company has given us a peek at what users can expect in future updates.
In a blog post, LastPass has explained exactly what its users can expect when Android O launches later this year. Essentially what it all boils down to is a less complicated, more integrated way for LastPass to automatically insert your passwords, addresses, and even credit card information into text fields thanks to O’s new Autofill API.
Currently, apps like LastPass require users to accept a hefty number of permissions and manually flip the switch on some settings to get autofill to work. LastPass also says that using Android’s accessibility features to accomplish this is also fairly processor intensive, and the Autofill API should help to address this.
Autofill More than Passwords
Using LastPass on Android makes you more secure, but it also saves you time. You don’t have to spend time typing lengthy passwords in your browser or your favourite apps. Autofill APIs are going to let us save you, even more, time on your Android device because we’ll be able to help you fill in more than just passwords. The Autofill Framework lets apps like LastPass recognise credit card forms and addresses as you come across them. If you’ve got that information stored in your vault, we’ll be able to safely fill it for you.
As an example, let’s say you’re treating yourself to a new pair of headphones. You open the Amazon app, and to sign in, you’ll just tap on the screen to unlock LastPass and we’ll show you the matching sites in your vault. You find the right headphones, put them in your cart, and go to checkout. Do you want to ship them to work, or to the house? Tap again, and we’ll present you with the addresses you’ve stored in LastPass. Which credit card do you want to use? Tap again, choose your Amazon Visa, and voila, you’re two days away from new headphones. As long as they’re in LastPass, you’ll never have to type an address or a credit card number again.
Performance and Security Improvements
In addition to the time savings, we anticipate other performance improvements as well. Today, LastPass relies on Android’s accessibility features to identify password fields we can help you fill. The accessibility approach has two drawbacks which we believe Autofill will address:(1) it’s more processor-intensive, counteracting the time we want to save our users, and(2) it requires that users grant us extra permissions. The Autofill Framework is purpose-built to allow apps like LastPass to fill eligible forms on a user’s behalf, and nothing else. We believe strongly in user privacy and security, and we’re happy to see Google introduce this method for safer, more efficient browsing.
Of course, you’ll need a device running Android O and LastPass’ updated apps to get this working. 1Password, another password manager, similarly gave an update on how its service would work in Android.