Google I/O saw the announcement of the rollout of Google Play services 7.5, featuring Smart Lock for Passwords, Instance ID, and additional APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast. But the most important consumer-centric feature is Smart Lock for Passwords. According to Google, Smart Lock for Passwords is a password manager built into your Google account and it can automatically sign you into websites on Chrome and in applications on Android.
The ideas are that Google Play services “deliver new capabilities and optimizations to devices across the Android ecosystem”. Basically it is a quick way for Google to get new functionality out to a wide range of devices, irrespective of Telco operator rollout plans. Everyone will get to take advantage of the new service.
To access all of your saved passwords in smart Lock, simply head on over to passwords.google.com this new interface allows you to easily manage, view and delete passwords without the need to do it on your Smartphone. From here, “Retrieve a unique identifier for every app instance, providing a mechanism to authenticate and authorize actions, even if your app does not have user registration and accounts. For example, this allows you to uniquely determine which app instance is sending a request from by including the Instance ID token.” You can also disable auto sign-in or Smart Lock altogether. On the phone side of things, you can find your Smart Lock Passwords menu in your Google Settings.
The first time you sign into a Smart Lock compatible app or website, Smart Lock will ask you to save your credentials. If you save them, Smart Lock will use these credentials to sign you in every time you are using that particular service in Chrome or its official application on Android. The same thing happens with every other Smart Lock compatible service or app.
Smart Lock will remove the tedious task for manually entering passwords on mobile devices, which is a pain. It is unclear at this point whether Google will automatically use the already saved credentials in Chrome for Smart Lock or not, but it seems likely.
The Smart Lock for Passwords feature was built on the Chrome Password Manager by adding a credentials API and UI on Android to get the saved passwords. By using services, there is no need to login on a Smartphone while we already logged in the chrome on the computer. The app invites (Beta) for upcoming Games or Apps on the Google Play will be available in version 7.5. The app invites will be made available on Android and iOS platforms. The app developers can increase their user base by sending app invites through email or SMS. The pre-registration of the apps on Google Play was recently added.
Google Cloud Messaging
“Gives developers a battery efficient mechanism for sending information to your users as well as send upstream messages from a device to your server.”
The Maps support for Android Wear devices will work much better with the Google Cast, which is made available through Play Services 7.5. This will make the interactions of Google Maps easy on Android Wear. The apps built with Google Play Services 7.5 will work properly on the devices running on Android 2.3 and higher.
“With the new ability to use remote display on any Android, iOS, or Chrome app, better media support, better game support, we hope your Google Cast experience is better than ever!”
“You’ll now be able to use the RecordingApi for gathering estimated distance traveled and calories burned data, making it available to your app and other Google Fit enabled apps via the HistoryApi.”
Google is planning to add new features including support for sync passphrases and Smart Lock for Passwords API support on other platforms later this year.