As part of its “Continuity” initiative, Apple is letting other apps access usernames and passwords stored in Safari in iOS 8.
As noted by 9to5Mac, the latest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system allows users to easily log in to apps by automatically entering the login data from Safari’s Passwords and AutoFill storage system. This does away with the need to manually enter usernames and passwords, which may diminish app engagement.
For instance, in Apple’s sample screenshots above (via MacRumors), to log in to the demo app Shiny, the user is prompted to select a saved username and password combination in Safari to proceed.
But for the feature to work, developers have to support it by associating their apps with their websites. As explained by 9to5Mac:
The process involves developers adding one file to their website and one new entitlement to their iOS app in order to verify the services associated. They will then be able to take advantage of a couple easy to use APIs that let them request credentials stored in Safari and present them to the user at log-in.
The new feature works the other way as well. Apps can use it to save or update login data in Passwords and AutoFill if apps don’t have associated login data in Safari yet.
As mentioned, it’s part of Apple’s Continuity, which makes for seamless user experience across iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Since the data in Safari’s Passwords and Autofill are synced with iCloud Keychain, the login data for apps are also available for Mac computers as well as iOS devices.