UPDATED 20:55 EDT / JANUARY 15 2020


Google enables iPhones and iPads to act as security keys

Google LLC today extended its log-in authentication service to iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to sign into accounts using Google security keys for two-factor authentication.

The service was first rolled out to Android devices in April and negates the need for either a physical security key or 2FA via SMS. The Advanced Protection Program prompts users to confirm logins via the phone or tablet, providing a more secure log-in service than alternative solutions.

The technology used by APP is essentially a software version of Google’s Titan Security Key. The sign-in keys generated are compliant with Fast IDentity Online or FIDO standards that are said to provide the strongest protection against automated bots, bulk phishing attacks and targeted phishing attacks, which aim to fool people into thinking messages or sites are known to them.

Uniquely to the iOS version, APP uses Secure Enclave in the Apple Inc. A-series chip to secure the service. Secure Enclave in the chips is also used by iOS devices to hold FaceID and Touch ID data along with other data that needs to be secured.

“This makes it easier and more convenient for you to unlock this powerful protection, without having to carry around additional security keys,” Google said when the service first launched. “Use it to protect your personal Google Account, as well as your Google Cloud Accounts at work.”

To use the service, iOS users need to activate the security key via Google’s Smart Lock app. The security key makes use of Bluetooth to verify sign-ins on Chrome OS, iOS, macOS and Windows 10 devices without the need for the devices to be paired.

“We also highly recommend registering a backup security key to your account and keeping it in a safe place, so you can get into your account if you lose your phone,” Google added.

The Google Smart Lock app for iOS is available on the App Store here. Currently it has an 4.8-star average rating out of 5.

Image: Google

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