Tech Dec 10, 2015 05:24 AM EST

Google's authenticator app allows users to certify logins via Smartwatch

By Staff Writer

Users can now use Google's second authentication app on their Android Wear devices, like their Smartwatches, making authentication as easy as glancing at the wrist.

According to a blog by Google, millions of people use the authenticator app for Android, since integrating it with a two-step verification process gives an extra layer of protection to prevent vulnerability from hacking.

Their new features allow users to get verification codes from compatible Android Wear devices, like the Smartwatch. Its latest Authenticator app also provides a developer preview that supports NFC Security Key. That feature is based on the FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) protocol.

Gizmodo reported that Google's offline-capable Authenticator app is one of the most convenient two-factor authentication app to prevent hacking. With this authentication app now available on compatible Android Wear devices, users don't have to take their phones out. They simply have to open their app using their smartwatches to put in the code.

Since it needs minimal interaction, users only have to take a few seconds to view and input the code. The app also has the option to only send codes when the Smartwatch is locked.

The Verge wrote that besides the compatibility of the Authenticator app on wearables, Google also launched a NFC Security Key developer preview. This will let users authenticate their login, simply by tapping the NFC-enabled tag near their phones.

A developer must have an Android device that has the latest Google Chrome, an Authenticator, and a NFC-supported Security Key to explore the functionality. The Security Key came from FIDO's requirements, which Google supported during the release of the USB key for Gmail and Chrome two-factor authentication more than a year ago.

The design of the Authenticator icon has also been upgraded. Google seem to have finally used its Material Design aesthetic to its new Authenticator look. The new version can now be downloaded from the Google Play store. 

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