MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Google has updated its 2FA Authenticator app for iOS with a new privacy feature that lets users require Face ID or Touch ID before displaying two-factor account authentication codes.

google-authenticator-app.jpg

Previously, fingerprint or facial authentication was only required when exporting accounts. Now though, upon activating Google's Privacy Screen feature in v3.2.0 of the app, Face ID or Touch ID is needed in order to show newly generated codes.

The authentication requirement can be set to show immediately, after 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes. In addition, Google has added a search bar to the top of the app interface to let users search for accounts.

Google Authenticator's previous update introduced a dark mode and the aforementioned account transfer feature. However, the latest improvements are likely to be seen by many Apple device users as verging on the redundant, following the news earlier this month that iOS 15 will include a built-in password authenticator.

When Apple releases iOS 15 in the fall, iPhone and iPad users will be able to natively generate 2FA verification codes for additional sign-in security, so there will be no need for a separate app.

Apple says that you'll be able to set up verification codes under Passwords in the Settings app. And once set up, the codes will autofill when you sign into a site, making the use of two-factor authentication a more streamlined experience than using a third-party method. This feature will be available on ‌iOS 15‌, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey.

Article Link: Google Updates Authenticator App Ahead of iOS 15's Upcoming Built-in Code Generator
 
Last edited:

coolfactor

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
5,137
5,564
Vancouver, BC
I wonder how easy it'll be to migrate from, say, Authy to the native 2FA app.

There's no way. You need to:
  • Disable 2FA using the old app.
  • Re-enable 2FA using the new app.
The generated codes are tied to your unique hardware, and each app will use a different algorithm.

If the codes were transferrable, that would make them far less secure. Someone could steal your "profile" and have working codes for all of your accounts on their device. But instead, your device is the only one that will generate the correct codes. That's why it's secure.
 
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psuchari

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2021
1
14
There's no way. You need to:
  • Disable 2FA using the old app.
  • Re-enable 2FA using the new app.
The generated codes are tied to your unique hardware, and each app will use a different algorithm.

If the codes were transferrable, that would make them far less secure. Someone could steal your "profile" and have working codes for all of your accounts on their device. But instead, your device is the only one that will generate the correct codes. That's why it's secure.
Not really. It’s just the seed key and time based. If you saved the QR code when you set up the account, you can readd it
 
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Pezimak

macrumors regular
May 1, 2021
233
200
Why wouldn’t Google update their app? Seems a bit of a clickbait title.

I have to say I thought that too? I presume Android users use it, and it's not as though users of the app like myself are suddenly going to ditch it and use anything Apple comes up with. Why go through the hassle when Google's works perfectly fine?
 
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W2u7Yw4HaD

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2005
125
196
Sorry, Google, after years of use, I moved over to the Lastpass auth app... It has backup at least which was always a danger with this app... While it would be nice for lastpass auth app to work and push the codes as they claim (almost never works!) at least I can copy and paste using handoff between iPhone and mac for example.. Happy to drop it for something better for sure..
 
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jgbr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2007
766
887
It’s a little fan boyish to think that just because Apple has done soemthing that everything else is now outdated and irrelevant [not even officially released or fully tested yet]. Other 2FA apps have way more capability and probably security to some degree.
 
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koil

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2019
72
212
because some of us want a fully independent 2FA app, that we can do a lot more with, in an application not buried or inherently tied to one browser or system.?
If Apple were consumer-focused here they would have built this into the password manager APIs, allowing third party solutions like 1Password, Google Authenticator, or LastPass to use it.

This implementation, to me, just reads as more vendor lock-in disguised as functionality. I have no doubt it works great, but some people who needs to use 2FA a bunch for work don't always have the luxury of using an Apple-only solution.
 
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coffeeboat

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2021
14
36
No one should be using Google Authenticator tbh. It doesn't backup your keys at all. Even if you backup all the data on your phone, e.g. via iCloud.

So if you accidentally drop your phone and have to send it off for repair, you'll lose access to all of your accounts. It's not too much of a problem if you kept all the recovery keys, but I'm betting the average user will either end up losing those or not bothering to save them in the first place.

If you use Google Authenticator please - make sure you have your recovery keys printed out, or just move to Authy which does backup your auth codes. You may be able to tell I'm speaking from experience...
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 68020
Apr 13, 2010
2,115
2,368
If Apple were consumer-focused here they would have built this into the password manager APIs, allowing third party solutions like 1Password, Google Authenticator, or LastPass to use it.

This implementation, to me, just reads as more vendor lock-in disguised as functionality. I have no doubt it works great, but some people who needs to use 2FA a bunch for work don't always have the luxury of using an Apple-only solution.
Luckily for you, me and many others here, we have the choice of almost anything we want, and/or a combination of solutions. I myself use Strongbox/Keepass and let iCloud save the less sensitive stuff.
BUT, there are plenty of people with just apple stuff, and even more people with just an iphone and nothing else. Apples solution is barebones (a bit less so with the TTOP options now), but its simple, secure and brings default password management to the masses who have never cared about this stuff.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,673
5,782
Canada
No one should be using Google Authenticator tbh. It doesn't backup your keys at all. Even if you backup all the data on your phone, e.g. via iCloud.

<snip rest>

When you create a 2FA code, you are supposed to keep a record of the unique codes / recovery codes, or better, the QR code. If you do that, your good. Google Authenticator doesn't need a backup option.
 
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slplss

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2011
329
338
Clickbait or what. Say it for what it is:
FRONT PAGE NEWS - GOOGLE UPDATES APP.
”(intro boosted to 500%) ’Sup guys, (subscribe and smash that alarm bell) this is FPN, Ef-(YT Ad 1)-Pi: En, Fah Pah Nah (insert fart joke) in to-(YT Ad 2)-day’s news (VPN sponsor time) Google (awkward joke) updates (awkward stare, minute of silence) app (rolls 500% boosted outro).
I’d be a good tuber.
 
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atax4667

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2021
2
1
New Zealand
I really feel like Authy is a turn key solution already in place. Will be curious to see how Apple implements it, we haven't actually seen it in action in iOS DB 1 yet have we?
 
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DaveTheRave

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2003
664
242
Why wouldn’t Google update their app? Seems a bit of a clickbait title.
Because years ago Google's app was the go-to for 2FA. And then it stagnated - no cloud backup or multi-device support, which is a pain if you change phones. And the labeling of the codes was limited, too. So I dumped Google and moved over to Authy. Now I can get my 2FA on multiple devices and adding to one syncs to others, too.

Now that Apple is going to make 2FA more mainstream, it seems that Google is finally starting to innovate again. Its great what competition can do!
 
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