One of the most frustrating and time-consuming things related to small screens is typing in details through a small keyboard and that too if you have to type in the same details again and again. You might have filled in your login details or credit card details innumerable times either while logging into your favorite website or buying your favorite stuff online. Well, if you are an Appreneur or a mobile app developer you must avoid displaying several forms over and over again. Adding too many forms won’t do any good for your app instead it might compel your users to jump onto another application and never use your application ever again. And if you are an Android App Developer then it becomes very important that you are well aware of the latest Android’s OS (“Oreo”) Autofill framework. Well, with the frequent updates entering data has become no breeze on the Android platform. This presents the developers with two vital benefits one would be to prompt exceptional user experience and other is to collect user data with ease. That being said, let’s see how Autofill actually works?
The Autofill feature is basically for the Oreo version where it stores data – data such as email credentials, passwords, credit card details and much more which are frequently needed by a maximum number of apps. In order to use this feature on an Android device, the user has to download and install an Autofill service app that can further synchronize with the framework. Whenever the system encounters any new details being entered in the Autofill field, a dialog box will appear asking the user whether he/she would wish to save the details for the Autofill service. If the user chooses to save, the same details will be accessible to the other apps also including the similar kind of details. And each and every time the user opens those particular apps, an Autofill option will pop up with all the necessary details stored in the Autofill service.
Well, the sole purpose of introducing this feature is to make the user’s life easier and more secure along with making the usage of Android phones more enjoyable. Where typing in email credentials and payment details on a mobile keyboard can be a real struggle it also imposes many security implications. For example, it is generally being advised to use unique and complex passwords for every new account you make online. But as it is practically impossible to remember so many unique and complex passwords, the users generally make the mistake of using the same email id and passwords for many accounts they make online. Well, this is obviously a bad idea as if one account gets compromised it is possible that others might get compromised.
The best way to prevent this kind of situation is to use a password manager where one can save hundreds of distinctive credentials. Well, using a password manager is easy on a desktop but when it comes to using it on the mobile phone the user might find it complicated. And hence, this is where the Android’s Autofill API comes into the picture.
When it comes to activating the Autofill feature in a mobile app you will see that the Android Autofill is by default disabled. One can enable it by Go to settings → system → language and input advanced → Autofill service. Select the Multi-dataset Autofill service.
- You can check the whether the Autofill feature is applied to other apps or not by:
- 1. Open the app you want to use
- 2. Enter the details that are asked for
- 3. Save the entered data to the Autofill services
- 4. Switch to the app that you wish to test
- 5. Go for the appropriate view and check whether the Autofill pops up or not