Recently, Google announced the of Android O—the next major release of the mobile operating system that powers 1.4 billion devices worldwide. There are several welcome improvements coming for users in Android O, like picture-in-picture (PIP) for video apps, improved audio quality over Bluetooth, and background processing changes that will extend battery life.
Here at LastPass, the hands-down, most-exciting part of Android O is Autofill APIs. Users running Android O will save tons of typing time and stay more organized thanks to Autofill APIs.
Autofill More than Passwords
Using LastPass on Android makes you more secure, but it also saves you time. You don’t have to spend time typing lengthy passwords in your browser or your favorite apps. Autofill APIs are going to let us save you even more time on your Android device, because we’ll be able to help you fill in more than just passwords. The Autofill Framework lets apps like LastPass recognize credit card forms and addresses as you come across them. If you’ve got that information stored in your vault, we’ll be able to safely fill it for you.
As an example, let’s say you’re treating yourself to a new pair of headphones. You open the Amazon app, and to sign in, you’ll just tap on the screen to unlock LastPass and we’ll show you the matching sites in your vault. You find the right headphones, put them in your cart, and go to checkout. Do you want to ship them to work, or to the house? Tap again, and we’ll present you with the addresses you’ve stored in LastPass. Which credit card do you want to use? Tap again, choose your Amazon Visa, and voila, you’re two days away from new headphones. As long as they’re in LastPass, you’ll never have to type an address or a credit card number again.
Performance and Security Improvements
In addition to the time savings, we anticipate other performance improvements as well. Today, LastPass relies on Android’s accessibility features to identify password fields we can help you fill. The accessibility approach has two drawbacks which we believe Autofill will address: (1) it’s more processor-intensive, counteracting the time we want to save our users, and (2) it requires that users grant us extra permissions. The Autofill Framework is purpose-built to allow apps like LastPass to fill eligible forms on a user’s behalf, and nothing else. We believe strongly in user privacy and security, and we’re happy to see Google introduce this method for safer, more efficient browsing.
We’re excited to spend more time with Android O, and we look forward to seeing it start rolling out to user’s devices in a few months. In the meantime, we’ll be working on an updated version of LastPass that takes advantage of the new Autofill APIs. Remember, LastPass is free no matter what device you’re using, so be sure to download our Android app today if you haven’t already!