Apple Aiming to Eliminate Passwords With Face ID/Touch ID Passkeys

Apple is developing a new passkey feature that will allow customers to use Face ID and Touch ID-based account authentication in lieu of a password, Apple engineer Garrett Davidson explained today in a WWDC developer session (via CNET).

apple passkey
"Passkeys in iCloud Keychain," a feature in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, stores a new WebAuthn credential called a passkey in ‌iCloud‌ keychain. It's used instead of a password for account creation and login, with one-tap login.

When you create an account using a passkey, there is no password to deal with. You can access that account with just a login and authentication through Touch ID or ‌Face ID‌.

No password is required because your Apple device handles the generation and storage of the unique passkey used for the site, so login is just a matter of entering a username and authenticating. Passkeys are end-to-end encrypted and synced across all of your Apple devices thanks to ‌iCloud‌ Keychain. Since everything is stored in ‌iCloud‌ Keychain, credentials are preserved even if Apple devices are lost or stolen.

Passkeys are more secure than most password plus two-factor authentication solutions, and developers can easily implement support for logins via passkeys.

At the current time, passkeys only work with Apple devices, so Apple is talking to partners at FIDO and the World Wide Web Consortium about a wider solution that would allow users to eliminate passwords across non-Apple devices as well.

Passkeys in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey are designed for testing and are not for production accounts as Apple tests the feature. Apple is allowing developers to test passkeys as part of a multiyear effort to replace passwords.

The emphasis of this preview is the authentication technology, an iCloud Keychain-backed WebAuthn implementation. An industry-wide transition away from passwords will need thoughtful and consistently applied design patterns, which are not part of this preview.

Passkeys can be seen in greater detail in Apple's full WWDC session "Move beyond passwords."

Top Rated Comments

countryside Avatar
22 months ago
I bet that gets complicated when signing in on a non-Apple device... I have found Sign in with Apple to be difficult enough at times.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
22 months ago

I bet that gets complicated when signing in on a non-Apple device... I have found Sign in with Apple to be difficult enough at times.
So you see why Apple would love this.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
22 months ago
Along with 2FA, this is a great stuff.

However, I wish Apple would make an app for managing passwords, credit cards, and passkeys. Burying them in the Settings app (or Safari Passwords Preferences or awful Keychain Access utility in macOS) is just not scalable.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spudlicious Avatar
22 months ago

Potential accidental slip that the new iPhone will have both Touch ID and Face ID.

(Touch ID anywhere under the screen)
Or could be just recognising the vast number of Touch ID devices in existence and still (MacBooks, iPhone SE) being sold.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8CoreWhore Avatar
22 months ago
Guys.... they want to REPLACE passwords... not manage them. And they want it open for all platforms not just Apple.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
22 months ago

Potential accidental slip that the new iPhone will have both Touch ID and Face ID.

(Touch ID anywhere under the screen)
why? it's an ios15 feature, iOS will work on older touchid iPhones, so good backward thinking by Apple
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off) [Updated]

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
mac studio pink

Apple May Not Launch Updated Mac Studio With M2 Ultra Chip Due to Similarity With Upcoming Mac Pro

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:06 am PST by
A new version of the Mac Studio with the "M2 Ultra" chip is unlikely to arrive in the near future, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that since the upcoming Apple silicon Mac Pro is "very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio," Apple may wait until the release of M3- or M4-series chips to update the machine, or...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...