A nifty little undisclosed Google service made the rounds on the Internet today. By going to a specific website, Google would give you a QR code to scan on your phone and then let you log in to a desktop Gmail session without having to actually type your login credentials on the computer. Google had never announced this service officially. Now it's clear why. According to Google's Dirk Balfanz, a member of the company's security team, this was just an experiment and, says Balfanz, will likely go away at some point.
"We're Already Working on Something Better"
Google is, he says, always working "on improving authentication, and try out different things every now and then. We're working on something that I believe is even better, and when that's ready for a public trial we'll let you know."
Google has now also updated the login page with virtually the same message. As Balfanz notes on Google+, the team doesn't want people to start relying on an unsupported feature.
The web, of course, lit up earlier today when this service first appeared, thanks to a Google+ post by a non-Google programmer who stumbled upon the feature by coincidence. It's not often, after all, that somebody discovers an unannounced Google feature on the public web.
The interest in this service shows, though, that there is clearly a market for this, which will hopefully motivate Google to launch an official product with similar functionality in the near future.