It is always advisable to use difficult-to-crack passwords, but such passwords are often difficult to remember. To overcome this problem, users may utilize password managers, which allow users to store unique, difficult-to-crack passwords in a way that is easily accessible and secure as well. However, users often have to share their passwords with others, making it a bit inconvenient to use a password manager, as it involves a few extra steps. With iOS 12, Apple is making this easier by allowing users to directly share their passwords from the iOS Password Manager via AirDrop.
AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary peer-to-peer file transfer feature. With iOS 12, it can also be used to wirelessly send any saved passwords from the iPhone, iPad or Mac. However, the AirDrop password sharing feature will only work between devices running on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave.
Here’s how AirDrop password sharing works. A password sent via AirDrop is automatically saved into the user’s Safari passwords. To access the saved website and app passwords on the Mac, open the Safari browser and select “Preferences” from the Safari menu, and then tap the “Passwords” tab.
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After that, users need to authenticate it via Touch ID or an admin password to unlock the saved passwords, and then double-click a saved password to get the details. Next, click the AirDrop button to send the selected password, and then choose the AirDrop device that you want to send the password to.
To use AirDrop password sharing on the Phone, iPad or iPod touch, users need to open the iOS Settings app in iOS 12 and go to “Website & App Passwords.” Next, users need to select a login and click on the password field. A pop-up will then appear, with AirDrop as the login option.
Select the AirDrop device that you wish to send the password to. After the sent password is accepted by the target device, the entry will be added to their own Safari passwords. If the target device already had the password for that username and app/website, the system will ask if it has to be updated.
The AirDrop password sharing feature allows users to share a password with any iOS 12 or macOS Mojave device. However, both devices must authenticate the AirDrop password sharing via Touch ID or Face ID or by entering the password as usual. Further, users must not worry about their passwords being hacked while being airdropped, as they are not sent in plain text. Like other items sent via AirDrop, such as photos, documents, etc., passwords are also encrypted before being sent over a direct peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection between the two devices.
Those who already use password managers like 1Password or Apple’s iCloud Keychain feature to keep their passwords and credit card information up to date on approved devices may not find the new AirDrop password sharing feature to be of much use. However, the feature will be very useful for someone who is having issues with the Universal Clipboard tool, which enables copy and paste across devices. It must be noted that AirDrop is no substitute for Universal Clipboard. AirDrop password sharing will also come in handy for users who need to share complex and secure passwords across iOS devices, but don’t trust iMessage or other messaging services for this.
Apple’s new password management options and API introduced with iOS 12 certainly make it easier to manage passwords. With iOS 12, the system will automatically suggest strong, unique passwords and give users the needed tools to create, store, retrieve and even share (via AirDrop password sharing) passwords, irrespective of which device the account is created on.
In addition to Safari, Apple’s new password features support third-party apps like 1Password as well. All your passwords are synced across all your devices, as they are stored in iCloud Keychain. Siri is also now capable of fetching your passwords, but only after making sure that it is you who’s asking for the password.
Additionally, a new security code auto-fill feature is being introduced to streamline two-factor authentication functionality. Now, the sent SMS security codes will be visible in the Quick Tap bar of the keyboard while you are completing the two-factor authentication. The feature, however, does not support third-party two-factor authentication apps like Authy. Apple is working on features that will let users know when a password has been reused.