Third-Party Apps Will Need App-Specific Passwords for iCloud Access From June 15

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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App-specific passwords are set to become a mandatory requirement for third-party apps that access iCloud user data, according to an Apple Support email sent out today.

Currently, app-specific passwords are used to allow non-native apps like email clients to sign in to iCloud accounts that are protected by two-factor authentication. The security measure ensures that users can still link up their iCloud account to apps and services not provided by Apple, while also avoiding the need to disclose their Apple ID password to third parties.

However, app-specific passwords will become a basic requirement from June 15, according to Apple. The policy change basically means that users who want to continue using third-party apps with their iCloud account will have to enable two-factor authentication and generate individual passwords for each app.
Beginning on 15 June, app-specific passwords will be required to access your iCloud data using third-party apps such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or other mail, contacts and calendar services not provided by Apple.

If you are already signed in to a third-party app using your primary Apple ID password, you will be signed out automatically when this change takes effect. You will need to generate an app-specific password and sign in again.
Two-factor authentication ensures that you're the only person who can access your Apple account, even if someone knows your password. To turn it on from any iOS device running iOS 10.3 or later, open the Settings app, tap your name at the top, and then tap Password & Security.

If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, you can enable it from Settings -> iCloud -> Apple ID -> Password & Security. If you're on a Mac, go to System Preferences -> iCloud -> Account Details, click Security, and enable two-factor authentication from there.

To generate an app-specific password, sign into your Apple ID account page (https://appleid.apple.com), go to App-Specific Passwords under Security, and click Generate Password.

Article Link: Third-Party Apps Will Need App-Specific Passwords for iCloud Access From June 15
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
That's all fine but it's get confusing and frustrating for the nontechnically oriented user -- and even those of us who are. If Apple really wants to beef up security I don't understand why it doesn't allow keychain access to apps and also require devs to allow TouchID. The best way to ensure security is to encourage people to use long unique random passwords for every app. But you need a password manager to do this and right now Apple's only works in Safari, not apps.

TouchID is available for apps, but not mandated. It should be mandated and keychain access should be made available for devices that do not have TouchID. That would be truly usable feature and set more space between iOS and Android. I mean if Apple is really serious about user security.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,650
31,867
Boston
Awful change, makes my computing life more difficult. I think I'll be sure to avoid iCloud as much as possible. I don't want to be forced to use 2 factor. I had turned that on a couple of months ago, and it was just a nightmare trying to use. I don't know why but with multiple iOS and OS X devices, it just didn't work as I had hoped.
 

j-beda

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2004
23
12
I have found 2-factor auth difficult to support for a large fraction of my clients. Most of them do not use 3rd party apps that this would effect as far as I know, but I guess I will soon find out.

I suspect Apple is going to be spending a lot of resources on their support system. I guess that is good for the local economies of places that Apple's call centres are in.
 

mdellepi

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2015
139
163
Germany
It's good. But this "app specific password" thing must be stated clearly. Some weeks ago I was trying to set up the Windows 10 Mail app of a friend to receive iCloud mail (and calendar,...) and his credentials were not working. Only after long search I understood that I should have put an app specific password (something I was completely unaware of) instead of the general iCloud one...
 

Nem

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2008
49
14
I accidentally changed to two factor auth a while back and had to use these app specific passwords, hated it, it seemed to work for about a week and then stop stating the password was incorrect and had to set up another one each time. After three times I turned two factor auth off and went back to normal. I can see me finally moving away from apple email entirely as it's just not worth the hassle.
 

JGRE

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,012
664
Dutch Mountains
This is terrible.
I live in a country where I can easily get my iPhone robbed. If I am without my mobile number (if it's stolen) does this mean I am locked out of my iCloud?
If you live in a country were can get robbed easily, you should be happy with two-factor authentication. Now only you phone gets robbed, otherwise also your data :)
Btw, they steel your phone not your number.
 

Kilibee

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2016
29
17
Munich
Does anybody have more detailed information or a link to the details of this change?

As this stands now, there are many open questions…
 
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sk1wbw

Suspended
May 28, 2011
3,483
1,006
Williamsburg, Virginia
It's good. But this "app specific password" thing must be stated clearly. Some weeks ago I was trying to set up the Windows 10 Mail app of a friend to receive iCloud mail (and calendar,...) and his credentials were not working. Only after long search I understood that I should have put an app specific password (something I was completely unaware of) instead of the general iCloud one...
That's my whole point. If you have a strong password, what difference does the platform you're using the app on make?
 

MR-LIZARD

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
101
154
UK
If Apple really wants to beef up security I don't understand why it doesn't allow keychain access to apps and also require devs to allow TouchID. The best way to ensure security is to encourage people to use long unique random passwords for every app. But you need a password manager to do this and right now Apple's only works in Safari, not apps.
This is already available and has been since iOS 8! The uptake from developers is so low. I have one App (ASOS) that actually uses the API to access the Safari keychain's credentials.

I have contacted lots of the developers of the apps I use to add this as a feature request but it just doesn't seem to have priority, despite it seeming easy to implement.

References:

https://9to5mac.com/2014/06/13/ios-8-lets-apps-access-safari-autofill-credentials-for-quick-easy-login/

https://developer.apple.com/reference/security/shared_web_credentials
 

Otelm

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2013
27
38
Just to clarify: this only affects apps that access iCloud web services in a non-native way (web API). E.g. those mentioned: outlook, thunderbird, and similar. I'm a developer and I used to have only one such app, which has recently been updated to iCloud drive instead.

This change won't affect apps which use iCloud Drive, keychain (which is already accessible by devs btw, they just don't implement it) and apps which use the CloudKit framework. CloudKit already assigns app-specific containers to apps, while this change only affects services which want to access iCloud outside of their own space (which makes sense, if you consider the security risks).

A kind suggestion: please enable two-factor authentication, the risks in using a single password nowadays are just too great, whatever platform you use.
 

Otelm

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2013
27
38
So this only affects third party Mail, contact and calendar apps?

If I have to generate a password for every app that syncs with my iCloud, it's going to be a major pain!
Yep, only for (example) contact and calendar apps which needs "enlarged" or "outside" access to iCloud. Absolutely not all apps, that would indeed be insane.
 
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mdellepi

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2015
139
163
Germany
That's my whole point. If you have a strong password, what difference does the platform you're using the app on make?
I think the problem is that 3rd party apps cannot "summon" the two-factor authentication. So, in principle, if they worked just by putting the general Apple credentials, they would circumvent that additional security check. This way, you must insert a password that you can generate only by using something (the Apple website) that can be accessed only after the two-factor check. It's a way to push two-factor authentication also when it is not directly available.
 

Fixey

macrumors regular
May 16, 2017
165
145



App-specific passwords are set to become a mandatory requirement for third-party apps that access iCloud user data, according to an Apple Support email sent out today.

Currently, app-specific passwords are used to allow non-native apps like email clients to sign in to iCloud accounts that are protected by two-factor authentication. The security measure ensures that users can still link up their iCloud account to apps and services not provided by Apple, while also avoiding the need to disclose their Apple ID password to third parties.

However, app-specific passwords will become a basic requirement from June 15, according to Apple. The policy change basically means that users who want to continue using third-party apps with their iCloud account will have to enable two-factor authentication and generate individual passwords for each app.
Two-factor authentication ensures that you're the only person who can access your Apple account, even if someone knows your password. To turn it on from any iOS device running iOS 10.3 or later, open the Settings app, tap your name at the top, and then tap Password & Security.

If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, you can enable it from Settings -> iCloud -> Apple ID -> Password & Security. If you're on a Mac, go to System Preferences -> iCloud -> Account Details, click Security, and enable two-factor authentication from there.

To generate an app-specific password, sign into your Apple ID account page (https://appleid.apple.com), go to App-Specific Passwords under Security, and click Generate Password.

Article Link: Third-Party Apps Will Need App-Specific Passwords for iCloud Access From June 15
[doublepost=1494936272][/doublepost]Apple Connect app for iOS is not compatible when you turn this two step authentication on, need to disable else Connect app is restricted
 
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IPadNParadise

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2013
515
165
As an older, semi non-techy, I am encountering my first confusion in setting this up. I went into my appleid settings and found where I could create an app generated request for a password. I entered my userid and then my own chosen password (unique for this), hit enter and it responded "here is your password" giving me one it created for me. Now, that's fine, it's just that Apple has never chosen my password for me when I am setting things up. Soooo, is their "created for me" going to work come the day I need it or will I be locked out of the app? I did record both my chosen one and "theirs" but...

ETA: came back to say now Apple has sent me an email acknowledging that I have set this up and included the password that I entered vs the one that popped back to me (theirs) during setup. So now even more confusing. First place, I dont remember Apple sending me back an acknowledgement email showing a password I have selected for something!
 
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Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,598
1,260
That's my whole point. If you have a strong password, what difference does the platform you're using the app on make?
If an app stores your password for a nefarious use, that app wouldn't actually have access to your Apple ID - only iCloud through that facet.

You'd also be able to disable that one key without having to reset your passwords everywhere -and- if that key was lost and seeded somewhere you didn't want, you'd know exactly what app was loose with it.

Though it's a pain, it's a system being forced on you because other people (maybe even you!) are too irresponsible with their passwords and iCloud accounts are just too valuable and have too much control over a persons Apple ecosystem.
 

macchelsea

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2010
10
6
Hong Kong
If two-factor authentication works as planned I would welcome this change. But I've tried setting up at least 3 times in the past just to get HomeKit working, but every time at least one device couldn't get the activation code. And all those app-specific passwords are just plain stupid.
 

itguy06

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2006
825
1,117
The best way to ensure security is to encourage people to use long unique random passwords for every app. But you need a password manager to do this and right now Apple's only works in Safari, not apps.
Enpass is free on the desktop, works in all browsers, and is a few $$ for mobile (iOS/Android/Windows)
 
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