Passkeys was by no means simply an Apple phrase, however the confusion is comprehensible

When Apple introduced access keys, its implementation FIDO Alliance secure authentication technology without passwords, the company did it the Apple way. This made an icon and printed the very Apple-branded Passkeys next to it., filled with the San Francisco font. And if you only watched part of it WWDC presentation on Apple tokens, it can be assumed that access keys are an exclusive feature of Apple’s iCloud Keychain. Just a reminder: it’s not.

The term “password” will also be used by the major players at Microsoft and Google. It is used as a common noun and can be plural or singular, for example: “you should set up a bank app token”. In other words, treat the word “password” as you would the word “password”. Access keys allow you to log in to an app or website only with a username and a pre-approved device that uses a cryptographic access key instead of a password and a text message code that can be spoofed or otherwise compromised.

Ricky Mondello, head of software engineering at Apple started a thread on Twitter yesterday promote the new technology and explain what it means. Alex Simons, Microsoft’s vice president of identity, hinted and confirmed that Microsoft will also adopt the name. All parties involved appear to be committed to spreading awareness about passwords, and so far none are trying to claim them as their own.

“Passkey” is definitely an easier name to understand compared to “FIDO Authentication” which can be very confusing when used verbally – for example here I want enter the name of my first pet? But seriously, if you’ve ever had to explain to the average person what two-factor authentication is and it took more than five minutes, imagine teaching them what FIDO authentication is.

For the technology to succeed, it needs a marketing push, and what better way to get the word out than to let Apple take the helm. If Apple was really trying to trick people into thinking that passkeys are just an Apple technology, it would probably be called Apple PassKeys.

If you’re using the developer beta for macOS or iOS, you can start using tokens now where possible. Google plans to open the required developer tools Install Access Keys on Android in 2022 at the end”. Microsoft currently supports tokens on the web using Windows Hello and will continue to do so login to MS account using access keys from an iOS or Android device “coming soon”.

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