Apple has once again managed to surprise us with its latest release- a browser extension for Google Chrome and the forthcoming for Microsoft Edge, called “iCloud Passwords” which uncharacteristically makes life easier for Apple users on non-Apple platforms.
The release was announced by Ricky Mondello, a key software engineer and engineering manager at Apple.
‼️🔑 macOS Sonoma brings Apple’s password manager to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other browsers using their extensions stores with the “iCloud Passwords” browser extension.
If you’re running the macOS Sonoma public or developer beta, you can try it right now! [1/n] pic.twitter.com/stkbQqFtfx
— Ricky Mondello (@rmondello) July 12, 2023
A Step Forward in Cross-Browser Compatibility
The iCloud Passwords extension represents a major leap forward in cross-browser compatibility. The new tool, part of the macOS Sonoma update, will now allow users to autofill passwords and one-time codes, save new passwords, and utilize QR codes to set up code generators.
macOS Sonoma, Apple’s upcoming operating system named after the picturesque Northern Californian area known for its wineries, is packed with new features and improvements that take user experience to the next level. From a unique presenter overlay for video conferencing, the ability to place widgets on the desktop, a brand new password sharing feature, to enchanting slow-motion screen savers, the update is all set to redefine the Mac experience.
iCloud Passwords – A Seamless Experience
The iCloud Passwords browser extension is designed to make web navigation a breeze. Users can now use the strong Safari passwords they create on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac when signing in to websites in Chrome. Furthermore, iCloud Passwords will also save any new passwords you create in Chrome to your iCloud Keychain, making them available on all your Apple devices.
This tool is already accessible for users running the macOS Sonoma public or developer beta, and it can be downloaded directly from the Chrome web store. The integration with Microsoft Edge will be made available soon, expanding the scope of this utility to more users.
The introduction of this plugin is a testament to Apple’s ongoing commitment to improving user experience across different platforms. By allowing Apple users to fill passwords from iCloud Keychain when signing into websites using Chrome, Apple is offering an enhanced level of convenience and cross-functionality.
The move was positively received by the tech community, with many lauding Apple’s step towards reaching the capabilities of other password managers. Yet, as with any new technological innovation, users had suggestions for improvement. Many requested features like universal passkeys and easier access to the password manager from locations other than settings.
In response to these requests, Ricky Mondello pointed out that while some features like managing keys over CLI might not be immediately on Apple’s priority list, there was a possibility of tags and custom fields being introduced in the future. This would allow users to organize more than 200 accounts more effectively.
As we look ahead to the full release of macOS Sonoma in the autumn of 2023, the iCloud Passwords extension offers a promising glimpse into the future of secure, integrated browsing across different platforms.