Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Family Passwords and Passkey Providers

Juli Clover:

In iOS 17, Family Passwords is designed to let you share your passwords and passkeys with friends and family members. Using the Passwords section of the Settings app, you can create a group of people to share passwords with.

Using a setup process, you can select trusted contacts to share information with. Each person who is in the group can select passwords and passkeys to share with others. You can, for example, share passwords to streaming services and online bill paying sites without having to share the password for your bank.


Like regular passwords, shared passwords are stored in iCloud Keychain and are end-to-end encrypted. Passkeys, Apple’s device-verified alternative to passwords, can also be shared.

This is really cool.

Ricky Mondello:

The feature that allows you to share passkeys and passwords in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma is not at all limited to families. You can set up shared groups with any collection of close contacts. And you can set up as many groups as you’d like. :)

Apple (Hacker News):

Passkeys can now be synced using external providers[…] Password manager apps can save and offer passkeys on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Notably, there still doesn’t seem to be a way to actually export passkeys. I guess you could use an external provider that offers this, but then you would lose the benefits of iCloud Keychain.

See also: Deploy passkeys at work.

macOS 14 release notes:

The Credential Provider API for password managers has been expanded to support passkeys. Credential providers can save and offer passkeys for apps and websites across the system

Paulo Andrade:

While Secrets could potentially generate and store Passkeys, they would be challenging to use in any app or browser without a Secrets extension installed.

Unlike password-based authentication, you can’t simply copy and paste a Passkey into an authentication form. And that’s precisely why this announcement is so important.


By allowing third-party password managers to store and use Passkeys in both apps and websites, Apple is taking another step in that direction. It also prevents locking you into the ecosystem.

Dan Moren:

I was glad to see that Apple has now added the ability to log in to your Apple ID or using a passkey instead of your password.


I do find it a little bit odd that the macOS implementation currently doesn’t seem to let you use Touch ID on your Mac to log in, rather kicking you to verify via your mobile device. On the one hand, that does bestow the additional security of using a second factor—an item that you have—but that’s not required on iOS or iPadOS, which would seem to be at more risk of being lost or stolen.

Another interesting tidbit: I can’t locate the saved passkey in the Passwords section of System Settings on my MacBook Air running Sonoma.


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