Google Adding Face ID Support to Chrome for iOS
A similar privacy lock option that uses biometric authentication is already present in Google’s Search and Drive apps on iOS.
Google is testing a new security feature in Chrome 89 for iOS that uses the iPhone’s biometric authentication to protect your private-browsing tabs. Currently limited to folks on Chrome’s beta channel, this will let you lock your Incognito tabs with Face ID or Touch ID.
Even More Private Private-Browsing
Any Incognito tabs protected with Face or Touch ID are blurred in the tab switcher. Locked tabs become visible again once confirmed with the iPhone’s biometric authentication.
Not only does this helpful feature boost your privacy but also strengthens your security as you multitask across apps on your iPhone or iPad. 9to5Google notes that not all beta users can access the new locking option due to a server-side component.
How’s This Useful?
It’s also useful for those times when a friend might ask to borrow your iPhone to quickly lookup something online. With Face ID protection for Chrome’s private-browsing mode, they won’t be able to see your open Incognito websites when switching tabs.
“Incognito” is a marketing name for Chrome’s private browsing mode. While incognito, you can browse the web without Chrome saving any information about the session. When you close an incognito window, all the information on that session disappears.
How to Enable Face or Touch ID in Chrome
This upcoming new feature must be manually turned in the Privacy section of Chrome’s in-app settings. A similar privacy lock is present in other Google apps.
In the native Search app, for example, the iPhone’s biometric authentication confirms your identity when returning to an Incognito session after 15 minutes. An optional Face or Touch ID authentication is also available in Google Drive to protect your files when you exit the app.
When Will the Feature Release Officially?
There’s no word as of yet when the new locking option might launch for everyone, but Chrome 89 is expected to release for public consumption next month. Google could also decide not to release the feature at all despite being listed in the official release notes.
How to Make Chrome Your Default Browser
If you use Chrome almost exclusively, it’s a good idea to make it your default browser on all your devices.