A new, early-development version of Chrome OS is offering a feature Windows users have enjoyed for years: The ability to sign-in to the PC using a PIN. Now maybe Apple can join the 21st century and offer this feature on Macs, too.
“How about unlocking your screen with a simple PIN in Chrome OS?” Google “Happiness Evangelist” (yes, really, groan) François Beaufort writes rhetorically in an announcement on Google+. “This will definitely come handy for touch devices.”
Um. It will really come in handy on any device. Having to type in a complex password—as you do now to sign-in on Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices, and on all Macs—is tedious.
Fortunately, it’s about to get a lot easier. On Chromebooks. Not Macs.
“This experimental feature is currently being tested in the latest Dev update,” Beaufort writes. On Google+, so no one will see it. And seriously, “Happiness Evangelist”? Ah God. That is just … wow.
Sorry, got distracted there.
To enable this feature, Beaufort explains that you need to enable the flag chrome://flags/#quick-unlock-pin on your Chromebook, restart, and then visit the Chrome Material Design settings page. There, you can set up your Lock Screen PIN in a new “Screen Lock” section.
“‘Quick unlock’ settings will also land in the regular Chrome settings page soon,” he adds.
See how easy that is, Apple?
(To be fair, Chromebook/Chrome OS also supports a very elegant way of signing in with your Android phone nearby. But that requires you to have an Android phone. PIN unlock always works.)