Google Authenticator, the popular app for generating one-time passwords (OTPs), is set to receive a major update, introducing OTP sync to user accounts on both Android and iOS devices. In response to user feedback about the challenges of dealing with lost or stolen devices, Google has decided to store 2FA (two-factor authentication) codes within user accounts instead of on individual devices.
According to a recent security blog post by the company, the update aims to balance "convenience and security," making it easier for users to avoid account lockouts when devices are lost or stolen. Once users update the Authenticator app and follow the on-screen prompts, their 2FA codes will be synced with their Google account, allowing for automatic backup and restoration on any new device.
For users who prefer not to sign in to their account or enable the sync option, manual transfer of codes will still be possible. Moreover, Google has revamped the Authenticator app with a new logo, replacing the old vault-like "G" with a vibrant, multi-colored asterisk, accompanied by a slight redesign.
While Google is working towards a "passwordless world" through FIDO security, the company acknowledges the continued importance of 2FA codes, password managers, and convenient authentication methods such as "Sign in with Google." The update is gradually rolling out to users, ensuring enhanced security and convenience for Google Authenticator enthusiasts.