Google has quietly launched a new Gmail log-in screen, a change which has made some users unhappy.
Previously, users logging into their Gmail accounts will need to input their usernames and passwords on just one page. For the new log-in screen, the process is separated, with users first entering their username and then being directed to a second page to be able to input their password.
Complaints against the two-page system for logging in to Gmail include users being slowed down by the change, along with problems now being encountered by different password managers that are used to remember the log-in details of users.
In Google's product forums, the company said that the updated Gmail log-in screen was made for "future authentication systems that complement passwords." While Google did not specifically state what these future systems will be, it could mean that the company is planning to someday implement additional security measures such as two-step authentication or a web version of the Smart Lock system for Android devices.
The Smart Lock system keeps Android devices unlocked as long as it is connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, located in a trusted place, in the person of the user through body detection, or able to recognize the face of the user.
Google's future plans for web-based Gmail is not yet clear, but industry-wide knowledge states that the security of accounts that are protected only by a username and password combination is not the ideal way to go.
Last year, Google separated its log-in process on Android to support the additional security features, which could be precedent to the company's plans for web-based Gmail.
In addition to the future log-in processes that Google will look to support with the new log-in page, the company added that the new system would provide a better experience to SAML SSO users, which refer to students and corporate users, who sign in using different identity providers. Google also said that the new system will decrease confusion for users that have several Google accounts.
While Google may have the best of intentions with the changes, the responses by users regarding the announcement have largely been negative. Users say that the new log-in page wastes time, with the need to go through two pages now instead of just one. Other users also feel that their privacy is being violated because upon entering their username, the next page already displays the user's name and picture even before inputting the account's password to verify the user's identity.
Most password managers will also require adjustments to be able to work with the changed log-in screen, though a fix for the programs will probably not take long before being released.