Google is making it a little easier to sign into your Google apps and services on an iOS device. The company is taking advantage of the new security key feature in Android to allow people to use their Android phone to log in to Google services on iOS.
The new feature works through Google’s Smart Lock app, which you need to have installed on your iPad or iPhone to make the Android security key feature work. You also need two-step verification enabled, and if both of those criteria are met, you will be able to hold down the volume key on your phone to sign in to your services.
Of course, the most likely scenario will be using an Android phone to unlock an iPad — since not too many people that aren’t tech reviewers own and use two phones at a time. That said, if you do own both an Android and iOS device, it may come in handy. With the news, the feature can be used on Chrome OS, MacOS, Windows 10, Android, and iOS.
Under the hood, the tech actually uses a new Bluetooth-based protocol, and it requires the Android phone to be running Android 7.0 or later. Since Google announced that Android phones could be used to sign in to Google apps and services, 100,000 users are reportedly making use of the feature.
Security keys like this have become increasingly popular over the past few years as a way to secure your account more than a simple password or PIN code could offer. With a security key, when you log in to your account, you will be prompted to authenticate using the key — which might be something on your phone, or even a physical device that you plug into your computer. As Google notes, it would be a good idea to have a backup physical security key just in case you ever lose your phone; without it, you won’t be able to log in to your Google account.
Unfortunately, Google’s security key tech is a little limited. For now, for example, it can only be used to log in to Google apps and services, though it may eventually roll out to other services, too.
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