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Google upgrades physical authentication technology for iPhone and iPad

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What you need to know

  • Google has updated its apps to work with the newest two-factor authentication technology.
  • iPhone and iPad users will now be able to use physical devices to natively authenticate.
  • Apple has supported the technology on iOS since December.

The iPhone has supported physical security keys for a while now, but a new update today brings NFC and newer technology support to Google's own apps on iOS.

Reported by AppleInsider, Google has updated its apps and websites to work with the latest W3C WebAuthn implementation for two-factor authentication.

"Google has updated its apps and sites to support the latest W3C WebAuthn implementation for two-factor authentication, which has been supported natively by iOS since December. Following the update, users can utilize physical keys with the latest technologies to authenticate logins to their Google account."

Users will now be able to use physical devices to natively authenticate with Google apps and services on the iPhone and iPad. Before, users were required to use Google's Titan key with the Google Smart Lock app installed on their device.

"With Google's update, you can now utilize any of those devices, including ones made for Lightning ports, to natively authenticate logins on your iPhone or iPad. Adapters like the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter allow keys to work on devices without the proper ports as well. Previously, Google's services only worked with its own Bluetooth-based Titan key, which was only compatible with devices that had the Google Smart Lock app installed."

Apple has supported the newest W3C WebAuthn implementation for two-factor authentication on iOS since December of last year.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.