Chrome is bringing web fingerprint login to MacBook Pros and Android phones

Could the next Chromebook have a fingerprint sensor?

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen

Fingerprint sensing on Google's Pixel phone.


Another use for the fingerprint sensor on your MacBook Pro or Android phone: a password-free way to log into websites and web apps with the Chrome web browser. In the Chrome 70 beta, fingerprint web authentication is now enabled by default for Android and MacOS, according to an official Google blog post. (No word on Windows laptops or iOS devices yet.)

Fingerprint scanning could be used as an easier alternative than typing in your password, or act as an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication.


Google shared this image in the Chrome 70 beta blog.


It seems like Google has been placing more emphasis on fingerprint scanning for the web recently. Last year it added fingerprint scanning to the Chrome OS -- note that Chrome OS is a different thing than the Google Chrome web browser, but both are internet browsing machines -- despite the fact that no current Chromebook has a fingerprint sensor. This month Chrome OS code was spotted referencing fingerprint sensing as an "out-of-box experience."

This could imply that some future Chromebook will have a fingerprint scanner. Interestingly, this comes around the same time we've heard rumors about an upcoming Pixelbook 2 and new Chrome OS tablets

And it just so happens that Google's invited us to a hardware event on Oct. 9. We're primarily expecting new Pixel phones, but last year's Google hardware event also introduced the Google Pixelbook convertible laptop. 

Chrome 70 should be out of beta in mid-October, according to Google's calendar, so the timing might make sense.