Android 11 makes autofill more seamless with keyboard integration

Android 11 makes autofill more seamless with keyboard integration

Android has had an autofill API since Android 9 Pie, making it easier to fill out saved addresses and passwords. Android’s autofill experience, though, is not as seamless as it is on iOS. On Android, autofill suggestions are displayed near the input field, whereas on iOS, they’re displayed right above the keyboard. With the arrival of Android 11, Google is revamping autofill to be more seamless with keyboard integration. Specifically, they’re adding inline autofill suggestions that appear right above the keyboard.

Google first announced this feature alongside Android 11 Beta 1, but a few days ago, they put up a developer page explaining how it works in more detail. As explained on Google’s new developer page for the feature (first spotted by AndroidPolice):

Beginning in Android 11, keyboards and other input-method editors (IMEs) can display autofill suggestions inline, in a suggestion strip or something similar, instead of the system displaying these in a dropdown menu. Since these autofill suggestions can contain private data, such as passwords or credit-card information, the suggestions are hidden from the IME until the user selects one.

Both IMEs and password managers need to be updated to make use of the new inline autofill suggestion feature. Developers of IMEs and password managers are required to set the supportsInlinedSuggestions attribute to true. If either the IME or the password manager does not support inline autofill, then the system falls back to the old autofill suggestion style wherein suggestions are shown in a drop-down menu.

Android 11’s new inline autofill suggestion feature makes filling in forms, multi-factor authentication codes, smart replies, and search queries much more seamless.

However, with Android 11 still yet to drop, most users likely won’t see this improved autofill UI for some time. Google has at least introduced the InlineSuggestionUI class to Jetpack’s Autofill API to make it easier for developers to implement inline autofill suggestions. The latest 1Password beta, in combination with Google’s Gboard app, supports this new API. Hopefully, developers of other IMEs and password managers implement this nifty new autofill API.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Gboard - the Google Keyboard

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.