Saturday, June 25, 2022
Ios/Mac

iOS 16 could kill more than passwords with this handy feature


Iphone 13 Mini Safari HeroSource: Joseph Keller / iMore

Now that Apple is killing off passwords, it has turned its eyes to another internet annoyance: CAPTCHAs.

One of the big features announced at WWDC 2022 earlier this month was passkeys, a new technology that will allow users to bypass the need for a password on an app or website. Apple, which is working on the technology in partnership with Google and Microsoft as part of the FIDO Alliance, will roll out the feature with iOS 16 later this year.

Spotted by MacRumors, passwords aren’t the only annoying authentication problem the company is looking to solve. If you’ve ever tried logging in to a website, on top of a password, you also commonly have to deal with CAPTCHAs, the authentication technology that requires you to click on a bunch of traffic lights and fire hydrants to prove you are not a robot.

With iOS 16, Apple is looking to bypass CAPTCHAs as well with a technology called Private Access Tokens. For apps and websites that support the feature, iCloud will handle verifying you are, in fact, a human being.

Apple recently shared a video with technical details about how the feature works, but simply put, Apple’s system verifies that the device and Apple ID account are in good standing and presents what is called a Private Access Token to the app or website. This new system will offer a better user experience for tasks such as signing into or creating an account, with improved user privacy and accessibility compared to CAPTCHAs.

“Private Access Tokens are a powerful alternative that help you identify HTTP requests from legitimate devices and people without compromising their identity or personal information,” said Apple, in the description of a WWDC 2022 video related to the topic.

Those interested in learning more about the feature can watch the WWDC session on the Apple Developer website.

The feature will be available on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac when iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura launch this fall.

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