Android 8.0 Oreo’s Autofill: Why it’s awesome and how to enable it

Between apps, games, services, various accounts, and websites, we have tons of logins and passwords to deal with. If you’re doing things right, you’ve got different usernames and passwords across the board and there’s no overlap between them.

When it comes to desktops and laptops, we have a handful of excellent browser extensions and services to help us keep track of all of these various accounts. LastPass, for instance, gives users a tool that only requires them to remember one login. Simply put your password into LastPass and it will secretly and securely log you into a website or service. Moreover, they also let you store phone numbers, addresses, credit card details, and more.

As it pertains to smartphones and tablets, though, it isn’t quite as easy or intuitive. While you can install the mobile app for LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, or other similar titles, things could be better for Android devices. Google recognizes this so it baked something like this into the platform for Android 8.0 Oreo. It’s one of our favorite features and we think users should take advantage of it.

Called Autofill, the option remembers your important data so that you don’t have to worry about it. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a game that you uninstall today and want to come back to it a few months later. Android will keep track of the login details so you don’t have to keep it tucked away in the corner of your mind.

Why It’s Awesome

Filling in forms is another area where Autofill shines; you no longer have to type in the same old information over and over again. Typing in your phone number, address, or credit card details can get really repetitive. Let your phone handle that junk.

Once you get down to it, you’ll realize how satisfying it is when your phone just knows what information needs to be go in and does it. Further, you’ll find that you actually have more accounts and logins than you think. We’re talking dozens, if not hundreds.

Now, as great as this is, the feature is may not be enabled by default. Indeed, you might have to manually turn it on if you want to take advantage of it. This could vary by device or phone maker.

How to Enable

For the Pixel 2 you can log enable (and disable) this by navigating to SETTINGS > SYSTEM > LANGUAGES, INPUT, & GESTURES > ADVANCED > AUTOFILL SERVICE.

One of the key reasons we really love the default way Android 8.0 handles Autofill is that it pulls in your Chrome accounts. That’s right, all of those logins you’ve been saving to Chrome over the last few years are automatically added.

What Else?

Google makes this feature available to app and game developers so that they can also leverage the smarts. The Autofill API works with pretty much any title just so long as there are some hints or code to trigger the fields properly. Among the early adopting tools and services are 1Password, Dashlane, Enpass, and LastPass.

Stop using the same username and password for all of your accounts: use a password manager. Take advantage of the way your phone does this for you and trust Google. The next step is to strengthen the actual passwords for each of your websites, credit card logins, and apps.