Google is reportedly working on a way to make WiFi password sharing easier with Android 12. The feature will allow users to share WiFi passwords using the Nearby Share feature that’s built into Android. The feature is Google’s take on Apple’s Airdrop technology, allowing android phones to share data with each other without actual wired connections. With the new feature, Android will add a nearby share button to the Share WiFi page. Tapping the same will allow users to share a WiFi password from a phone that’s connected to WiFi with one that isn’t, without physical interaction between the phones.
How does it work
Android smartphone makers have tried to make it easier to share WiFi passwords for a while now. Companies like Xiaomi allow users to share passwords by scanning a QR code, though that can still be a cumbersome way to go about it, especially in a crowded room. With the new feature, Google seems to be trying to bring sharing WiFi passwords down to the tap of a button. This will also be similar to how WiFi sharing works on Apple devices.
On iPhones and iPads, users get a prompt to share the WiFi password with a device that wants to connect. They can tap a button to share the password and allow the other device to connect. This ensures that users don’t have to physically share the password, or reveal it to a room full of people, but can still ensure that other devices can connect to the WiFi.
Features like this are useful, especially in the modern tech world. We all have passwords on different websites and are often forced to reuse passwords between different accounts. Telling someone your WiFi password could also mean you’re sharing the password to your Gmail or Facebook account. It’s much easier if the practice can be automated and doesn’t require physical sharing.
Nearby Share has decent range, meaning you will be able to share WiFi passwords across rooms. It also requires consent from both users, which plugs another possible gap in security.
The feature was passed as a commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) by Google engineer Abel Tesfaye, so it’s unclear whether it will become an official feature just yet. It’s possible that Google is working out possible chinks and is considering making the feature available on the next version of Android.
When is Android 12 expected to launch?
The Android 12 Developer Preview is expected to go live in February this year. Google should be making the final version of the operating system live within the first six months of the year. Given that the commit was passed right now, it’s possible this feature will make it to users’ devices in the second or third developer previews.
Source: XDA Developers