Operating systems: Android, iOS
Anyone reading this post is probably already familiar with the overwhelmingly popular Google Authenticator. However, we can’t write about authenticator apps without mentioning this one — and we can use Google’s authenticator as a baseline for evaluating the other programs.
On the whole, Google Authenticator is a convenient solution for those who would rather not get involved with token synchronization through the cloud. Instead, the app can export all of the tokens created in it, making a single QR code to import them en masse to a new device. In the iOS version, it recently became possible to search tokens and protect access to the app with Touch ID or Face ID, unlike with the Android version. Google Authenticator still cannot hide generated codes from view, which may be problematic if you use it in public. (Incidentally, all authenticators for Android restrict the taking of screenshots, so all screenshots in this post come from the iOS versions of the apps.)
- No need to create an account,
- Face ID/Touch ID protection for app access (iOS version only),
- Simple interface with minimal settings,
- Ability to export and import all tokens at once,
- Ability to search by token name (iOS version only).
- No login protection (Android version),
- Inability to hide codes,
- No cloud backup/sync,
- Greater potential risk, because of ease of exporting tokens, if the unlocked app falls into the wrong hands.
Google Authenticator lacks some useful features, but if you don’t want to get involved with storing tokens in the cloud, it’s a decent option.
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