Google hosted its annual conference, Google I/O, last month and announced a lot of new features and technologies for the future of Android. As developers, we’re particularly excited about the features that allow us to improve our application in ways that let you enjoy an even better experience with your passwords.
Most important for Dashlane and our users is the autofill feature announcement. In order to explain Autofill and how it will change the way you use Dashlane, let me begin with the current autofill experience in Dashlane.
For a few years now, you have used Dashlane’s own In-App Login. This little bubble, which appears on the login page of an Android app, is very helpful to retrieve your credentials.
Technically, this works with what we call the “accessibility service“. Once enabled, a service will analyze the application you are using and try to determine if you need a password for this application, at this point.
We have made a lot of improvements around this feature since we initially launched it; improving the battery consumption, increasing the accuracy of results and even making this experience available within Chrome!
We will continue supporting this feature and improving the quality of the results you get thanks to our own In-App Login for the current (and some older) Android versions.
Chrome is the most popular browser on Android, both because of the desktop browser’s popularity and because it is installed by default on many devices. But the biggest difference between Chrome on Android and Chrome on Windows or Mac are extensions. Extensions are the way we are able to analyze web pages you view and accurately fill the correct password or personal information for the fields on the site. Because Chrome doesn’t have extensions on Android, we needed to find a workaround to analyze the content and form fields on websites.
Our support of In-App Login in Chrome is one way to solve this problem, but in order to give you the same accuracy on Android Chrome as we do on Windows or Mac, we created our own Dashlane Browser. Thanks to this, we are able to fully analyze each website you visit and provide the same industry-leading speed and accuracy, making your experience as smooth as possible.
At Dashlane, we have an entire team dedicated to creating our semantic engine, DashIQ, which is able to understand a web page and find the right information to fill in at the right time. Our Semantic Analysis team is actively working on improving this experience to make it even smoother, and the in-app browser will always be the first component to access it. Stay tuned!
Autofill in Android O
To understand what Autofill in Android O is, let’s look at a little demo:
As you may notice this looks pretty much like what we have today with the Dashlane In App Login. So how is this different?
As mentioned earlier, the In-App Login is working with the accessibility service. order for your Dashlane app to understand the screen you are viewing, we are cleverly using a service which is not intended for recognizing and filling login forms with your credentials. We talked a lot with Google, months before the announcements of their Autofill, to fix this issue. Our goal was to be sure that this new feature would match all of our requirements, especially around security and privacy. Finding a more appropriate solution than the accessibility service was very important for Google, but also for us.
When can I get the Android O autofill feature for Dashlane?
Today, we are thrilled to announce that you can start testing this new way of logging into your favorite applications! Currently, in beta, the Dashlane compatible version will allow you to use either our current In-App Login, or the new Autofill service. Autofill will be available if your device is running Android 8.0 (Android O) and above.
This version is currently in beta and only some Nexus devices can have access to it, but it will be available on more devices in the following months. In the future, Android 8.0 and above devices will have only access to the Autofill service, which will replace the current In App Login bubble. To enable it today, go to your Phone Settings > System > Language & input > Advanced > Autofill service. Let us know what do you think about it!
Updates on OpenYOLO
A few months ago we announced that we were working with Google on a project called OpenYOLO, and we invited any password manager to join us in this initiative. Our goal remains the same: deliver your passwords as smoothly as possible while keeping them secure.
That’s why we worked on a framework that developers can use on their applications. Instead of guessing which password you need when – which is what password managers STILL do with Android Autofill – we want to allow the developers of any application to tell us explicitly what they expect and let them handle it after.
We made this framework open source so any other password manager can use it. The idea was shared with the Google Identity team (which work on Smartlock, for example) and we decided to go even further together. Enabling third-party apps built for password management is an acknowledgment by Google that this is a space where users are best served by a choice of identity-focused companies. To Google, password managers like Dashlane are a must-have.
The first version of Dashlane compatible with OpenYOLO has just been released. It allows developers of third party applications to test their implementation of this new framework with Dashlane. Today, some other passwords managers are involved in the discussion and the first version of OpenYolo is coming in the following months, and will be available for every Android Dashlane user starting with Android 4.0! The user flow will be impressive, the quality of the results amazing. The In-App Login, In-App Browser, or even the Autofill in Android O will be able to achieve this quality. We are looking forward to working with developers on this, enabling their users to log in their apps smoother than ever before.
What else are you looking forward to in Android O? Let me know in the comments below!