Google has released a new update for its Smart Lock app for iOS, which now allows users to use their iPhone as a physical security key to access Google services via Chrome. The new update acts as an extra layer of security and convenience, allowing users to securely access Google services without going through a two-factor authentication process. Here’s all you need to know about the new ability.
Now use your iPhone as a physical Google key: What it is and how is it useful?
Users will be able to access their Google accounts or services easily via their iPhones. The new update reads, “With this new update, you can now set up your phone’s built-in security key, the best second-factor protection for your Google Account.”
Using a physical key will enable more privacy and security as it is easier for hackers to access a user’s security key, much like passwords.
For those who don’t know, this ability was available for Android users for a while now.
How does this work?
According to Google cryptographer Filippo Valsorda, Google Smart Lock makes use of an iPhone’s Secure Enclave to convert it into a physical security key. Secure Enclave is a dedicated processor in an iPhone that takes care of biometrics (Touch ID or Face ID) in an iPhone.
Another thing to note is that the whole process requires your iPhone to connect to your PC or laptop via Bluetooth, which means your smartphone will have to remain in the vicinity of the device. This further ensures more security as it won’t allow any random person to access your Google accounts.
How to use your iPhone as a physical Google key?
There are simple steps to go about:
- First, download the Google Smart Lock app via the App Store
- Select your Google account and set up Bluetooth and notification permissions
- Log in to your Google account, select your iPhone as your security key, and you are done
- Once the iPhone is selected, you will have to connect it with your laptop via Bluetooth
- You will get a notification on your iPhone, unlock it, tap a button in the Smart Lock app, and the login process gets completed