(Pocket-Lint) – Discussing the Safari browser update at WWDC in June 2022, Apple announced a new security feature – or certificate – called Passkeys that aims to work across platforms. Apple says it is working with developers, the FIDO Alliance, and industry partners such as Microsoft and Google to create a password-free future – and Paskey is the key to that vision. Here’s what you need to know about the new certificate, including how it can better replace passwords.
What are Apple Passkeys and how can they replace passwords?
In his keynote address at WWDC 2022, Apple stated that it has helped create a “next-generation certificate” that is more secure, easier to use, and aims to replace passwords.
Pasky is a type of certificate that uses “cryptographic techniques”. It basically uses the biometrics features built into your Apple devices to protect your online accounts – such as Touch ID or Face ID. In a demo, Apple showed you how to quickly create and use a Passkey with Touch ID or Face ID on your Apple device. When you use an app or website that supports Apple Passkey, you will only be able to create an account using your thumbprint or face and log in to those services. All you have to do is authenticate, and you’re done.
During a demo of the password-free technology, Apple demonstrated how Paskis are backed up in iCloud Keychain and works with end-to-end encryption across Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. You can even sign in to websites and apps on non-Apple devices using the iPhone or iPad. All you have to do for authentication is scan a QR code and Touch ID or Face ID.
How does Apple Paskey work and are they really safe?
Apple says that when users create a passkey, a unique digital key is created that only works for the site for which it was created. Paskis are based on the Web Authentication API (WebAuthn).
It is a standard that uses public-key cryptography instead of passwords to authenticate users in websites and applications. These are stored on the device instead of a web server This is a password replacement that uses Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification. So, instead of entering a long password, you will be asked to authenticate via Touch ID or Face ID.
As a result, the company says that a Paskey cannot be fished, because Paskey never leaves your Apple devices. Even hackers can’t trick you into sharing a passkey on a fake website and they can’t be leaked because nothing is stored on the web server. Paskis works in apps and is securely synced across Apple devices using the iCloud keychain.
Which devices will support Apple Passkey – is it just Apple?
You can use Paskey to log in to apps and websites from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and even non-Apple devices.
- On your Mac, You can log in with a passkey using your Touch ID or Face ID
- On your iPhone, You can log in with a passkey using your Touch ID or Face ID
- On your iPad, You can log in with a passkey using your Touch ID or Face ID
- On your Apple TV and non-Apple devices, You can log in with a passkey using your iPhone or iPad! Apple says you can sign in to an app or website by scanning a QR code and then authenticating with Touch ID or Face ID.
Remember, in May 2022, Google and Microsoft Announcement It has joined forces with Apple to expand support for passwordless logins across mobile, desktop and browsers. All three companies have said they will support the new passwordless authentication standards – set up by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium – by next year.
When will Apple Passkey be available for use?
As part of the announcement for MacOS Ventura, Paskis was announced during a Safari demo, a major operating system update is coming to Mac. It will be available in beta this summer, followed by a public rollout later that year. At that point, most likely, Paskis will be available for Mac users. iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will probably bring Passkeys to iPhone and iPad. With those upcoming software updates also getting their beta release this summer, the final versions are likely to arrive for customers in the fall of 2022.
Written by Maggie Tillman.