New Chrome builds have built-in password generator

Watch out, LastPass! Google might be gunning for you.

The latest stable release of Chrome already slapped a fresh coat of paint on the built-in password manager. Now, according to Google staffer François Beaufort, the firm is cooking up a slick-looking password generator, as well:

Source: François Beaufort.

You can try out the password generator yourself by grabbing the latest Chrome Canary build, heading to chrome://flags via the address bar, and toggling the "enable-password-generation" and "enable-save-password-bubble" settings. The password generator will then appear automatically on sign-up pages. "As soon as you focus the password field," Beaufort explains, "a nice overlay will suggest you a strong and pronounceable password that will be saved in your chrome passwords."

Third-party password managers, including LastPass and Dashlane, have been offering similar functionality for years. However, even the simplest ones have a learning curve, and I haven't seen many non-technically minded users bother with them. With a built-in password generator in Chrome, those same people could stay secure easily and painlessly. And heck—since Chrome now syncs passwords and locks them away behind your PC's user-account password, some of us geeks might go the same route.

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