With its next round of software updates coming this fall, including iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Apple will launch integrated support for the passkeys standard. The passkey standard is described as unique digital keys designed to replace the need for passwords altogether with streamlined sign-in across your devices, websites, and apps.
When Passkeys is launched as part of iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and iPadOS 16, they will require that users also have two-factor authentication enabled on their Apple account. In preparation for this, Apple has shared details with 9to5Mac on the adoption of 2FA among iCloud users for the first time.
What Are Passkeys?
Passwords are one of the weakest links in digital security today. Many people will choose a password and then use it across every app, website, or service they sign into. Passwords can also be leaked in database breaches, obtained via phishing attacks, and much more. Passkeys address these issues and let users transition to a completely password-less lifestyle using public key cryptography.
Apple’s support for the passkey standard was announced at WWDC in June. As we’ve explained in the past, passkeys replace your password with a digital key that is unique to your account. This digital key stays on the device, is end-to-end encrypted, and is never stored on a web server. Each passkey you create is unique to that app, website, or service.
Passkeys are an extension of the FIDO Standard feature that Apple implemented as part of iOS 15 and macOS 12 last year. The FIDO Standard feature, however, requires the user to log into each app or website on each device before enabling a password-less sign-in method. Passkeys remove that step and allow users to transition to a password-less login method altogether.