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Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft look to ditch passwords, Google unveils new hardware

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Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins the Live show to discuss why tech giants like Apple and Microsoft are looking to 'passwordless' logins.

Video transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are shifting towards password-less sign-ins for users, but what exactly does that mean? Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's tech correspondent Dan Howley, here with this week's Tech Support. So password-less, I am one-- I'm sure you are, too-- I always forget my passwords.

BRIAN CHEUNG: All the time.

DAN HOWLEY: Oh, yeah. I mean, I'm--

AKIKO FUJITA: What's the solution?

DAN HOWLEY: I'm terrible at passwords. I'm guilty of every crime possible-- reusing them, using very similar passwords. You get a-- iOS will tell you if you have or Android will tell you if you have potentially compromised passwords. It's just like an infinite list for me. But this is kind of a way to eliminate passwords entirely. So what this is, is a new kind of sign-in. And basically what you'll be able to do with Google, Microsoft, and Apple's cooperation is something called Fido.

And this is basically a way for you to sign into your accounts without ever having to enter your password. You'll simply enter your account name, your username, email, whatever you would use to log in normally, and then you will get a notification on your smartphone. Then you would just use whatever way you use to open your smartphone, whether that's your face ID, your touch ID, fingerprint sensor, face scanner, whatever you have on your Samsung phone or Google Pixel. You can even use, ridiculously enough, the password for your phone, even though we're trying to eliminate passwords entirely, and it'll log you in.

And what's really impressive here is that it'll work across the spectrum of devices. So you don't necessarily need to have an iPhone to log into your Mac to get into Safari. You'd be able to log in from your iPhone onto Chrome on your Windows PC. And it'll all work seamlessly. So you may have seen some of this so far. I have a Microsoft Authenticator app where I just go to sign into my Microsoft app for Xbox or for Chrome and--

BRIAN CHEUNG: Everything.

DAN HOWLEY: And it just gets me right in. And it sends me a notification, and I say allow. And boom, that's it. No password, no nothing. It's so easy.

BRIAN CHEUNG: You whisper it, like, I'm in.

DAN HOWLEY: I say--

BRIAN CHEUNG: [INAUDIBLE]

DAN HOWLEY: Usually, I'm lowered from the ceiling on a bungee cord.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, just completely, like, sprawled out.

DAN HOWLEY: Yep, barely missing the surface. I also have to look like Tom Cruise in this. Brad Pitt [INAUDIBLE] Tom Cruise.

BRIAN CHEUNG: You look just like him. Dan, I want to ask you as a follow-up, big developer conference going on for Google. New smartphones, new tablets. What's going on that front?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, so they had their I/O conference yesterday. And basically, what they had announced here was a new smartphone, two new smartphones, their very first smartwatch called the Pixel Watch-- looks gorgeous. It really does give the Apple Watch a run for its money. The two phones are the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 6A. The Pixel 7 coming later this fall, premium phone, think the iPhone 14's competitor. The 6A is basically a mid-range smartphone that has tons of power, but a $449 starting price. And then we saw Android 13 come out.

But it really is all about that watch. And this is about basically Google saying, look, we got hardware. Come on in. We want you guys to be part of this ecosystem for as long as possible. And now we have a smartwatch that will actually want you to be there.

AKIKO FUJITA: Really quickly, Dan, what's considered the most secure? Is it face ID? Is it still the iris?

DAN HOWLEY: It would be face ID. Face ID, yeah. I mean, because you have to keep your eyes-- you have to look at it, right? It's not-- at first, Samsung has something where it could be sort of spoofed, but this is where you have to be fully-- they can't just walk up to--

BRIAN CHEUNG: They're your eyeballs.

DAN HOWLEY: Exactly. They need to be looking directly at it. So face ID is really the most secure right now.

BRIAN CHEUNG: All right, good to know. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley, thanks so much for tech support there.

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