If you have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled on many of your accounts – which you should – then you’re probably familiar with the Google Authenticator. It’s one of many authentication apps that can help ensure that someone who has your password does not immediately get access to your account. It got a new feature as recently as May of this year, but that feature is already on its way out.
As 9to5Google reports, in May the Google Authenticator added the “Click to reveal PIN” feature. With this, you have to take the additional step of tapping on the app before your authentication code is shown. The report states that a recent update to the app removes the very same feature it introduced two months ago.
On the surface, the feature was probably meant to add an additional layer of security, or maybe specifically privacy in this case, to the Google Authenticator. One can imagine that it’s so that you only get the code revealed to you once you’re actually ready to use it. This is so that you don’t launch the app, only for people around you to see it before you do. But on the flip side, this is usually not something that is necessary since authentication codes are changed every 30 seconds.
According to the report, this feature never made it to iOS. Instead, you get the option to have it ask for Face ID or Touch ID whenever you need your authentication codes revealed. Which is maybe a slightly nicer touch, and will probably see more use, especially if your device gets stolen, or you lose it in some other manner. And while it would be a more useful feature to have than click-to-reveal, it remains to be seen if biometric unlocks for authenticator codes will come to Android.
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