Rohit Paul, also known as user rp1226 on Reddit, is lucky enough to be invited to test a new feature on Google. It's all about signing in to your Google account without having to bother with passwords and two-step authentication. It all relies on you having your phone nearby and using it to let yourself in.
According to the screenshots Rohit posted and the email he got from Google, this works by first setting it up on your compatible phone. It's not clear what qualifies as such, but Rohit's Nexus 6P was approved. A lockscreen doesn't seem mandatory but very highly recommended to avoid abuse from other people who could have physical access to your device.
Once set up, when you try to log in to Google on any other computer or device, you just have to input your email address and ask to be let in. A notification shows up on your phone asking if you're the one who is trying to sign in from another device. Approve and ta-da, you're in. You can still use your password, of course, but it won't be required anymore if you're using your phone.
Google's email to Rohit goes into further details about the feature and some Q&A regarding it. You can check it out below and see if your concerns are answered in it.
You’ve been invited to try a new way of signing in to your Google account. Setting it up will only take a few minutes.
Enroll your Google Account
Accept the invitation for our Google Group
Go to myaccount.google.com/security
Click the invitation that says: "Tired of typing passwords? Try using your phone to sign in"
Follow the instructions to finish setup
What happens next ?
After you’ve set it up, try it and see what you think. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
You won’t need your password to sign in, but you can always use it if you want to As always, if we notice anything unusual about your sign-in you may be asked to complete an extra step or two to prove it’s really you We might reach out to you to learn more about what you think. You can leave the group if you don’t want us to contact you.
What happens if ?
Your phone’s battery dies or your phone isn’t around
You can still use your password. When you go to sign in, just click the link "Use your password instead" at the bottom of the page
You lose your phone
That's why you have a screen lock or Touch ID. Even if someone else gets your phone, that person can't unlock it
Any time you lose your phone, protect yourself by signing in on another device and going to My Account. From there, you can review your device activity and remove account access from the lost device
You want to use a new phone
If you need to change your phone, go to "Sign in and Security" in My Account. Click "Use your phone to sign in" then "Edit" your phone
You decide you want to stop using your phone to sign in
If you decide you'd rather type your password to sign in, go to "Sign in and Security" in My Account. Click "Use your phone to sign in" then "Turn off"
You’re asked to complete extra steps to sign in
If Google ever sees something suspicious about how you're signing in, you'll need to complete an extra step or two to prove it's really you. As we work to improve the experience, you may see some of those changes
You’re wondering if you’ll ever need your password again
For the moment, you’ll probably still need it, just in case your phone isn’t around or we can’t reach it. And if Google ever notices something suspicious about how you're signing in, we might ask you to enter your password.
This would clearly benefit those who often rotate their passwords or don't want to bother remembering them. It makes things easier for you, but shouldn't affect your security or privacy. If your phone is locked with a fingerprint reader or another secure method, there's little chance of this being abused by someone who accidentally or purposefully ends up with the phone in their hand.
I'm honestly not sure I'd use something like this. I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to signing into my different accounts. I prefer things to stay separate and uncomplicated. Anything that slows me down or relies on way too many factors usually hinders my usage. What do you think about it? Is it something you'd set up and use?