Google may be preparing to replace passwords with something better

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Google dislikes passwords, that much is already clear, but the company may actually be preparing to implement a viable replacement for the password in the near future. At least, that’s what many people have gathered from a recent Gmail update that splits the username and password login screens into two different screens, which has had the unfortunate side effect of screwing over password manager users. 

Google quietly rolled out a new login screen for Gmail this week, and not everyone is happy with the update. Where before, Gmail users would enter their username and password on the same page, the new login flow separates this process. Now, you’ll first enter your username, then be directed to a second page where you enter your password. Some complain that this change slows them down, while others point out that the update has broken their ability to log in using various password managers. According to Google, the change was implemented to prepare for “future authentication systems that complement passwords.” The company is vague on the details as to what those may be, but may be referencing other methods to secure accounts like two-step/two-factor authentication, hardware dongles, or perhaps even some web-based variation of Android’s “Smart Lock” system.

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