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Chrome OS

Chrome OS 88 introduces PIN and biometric sign-in support on websites

By Nadeem Sarwar January 26, 2021, 11:50 pm
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Google has announced the latest build of Chrome OS that upgrades it to version 88. And among the most useful changes that it brings to the table is the ability to sign-in on a website using your Chromebook’s PIN or even rely on biometric authentication via the on-device fingerprint sensor. Needless to say, it is an extremely convenient addition for folks who don’t like the hassle of entering their log-in credentials every time they access a frequently visited website, or simply don’t trust the browser’s password save feature.

“Now you can securely sign in to websites with the PIN or fingerprint you’ve set up to unlock your Chromebook with our new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) feature. Websites that support WebAuthn will let you use your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID—if your Chromebook has a fingerprint reader—instead of the password you’ve set for the website,” Google says in a blog post detailing the latest Chrome OS update.

Image: Google

In addition to using the PIN or your biometrics as a password, Chrome OS 88 also allows them to be used as the second key for two-factor authentication. Websites that support the WebAuthn protocol will now automatically prompt users to enable PIN or biometric authentication when they sign-in following the Chrome OS update.

Plus, Chrome OS 88 also adds a new feature that allows users to turn their Chromebook’s display into a smart display by following this path: Settings > Personalization > Screen saver. Users can pick an album from their Google Photos library or select from the art gallery images as their screen saver. Here’s a sample of how the new smart display trick of Chrome OS looks in action:

Chrome OS 88 smart diisplay feature
Image: Google

As for the functional aspect of it, the lock screen can be customized to show useful information such as weather. Plus, it also has a dedicated music widget that can be used to play or pause the playback without unlocking the device.


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