Google now has extended its Android-based two-factor authentication to Google applications on iOS devices like iPads and iPhones.
The authentication app uses a certificate built into Android that responds to a challenge issued by a specific, enterprise-enabled website for authenticating both the user and website during login. Google apps or an account on the Google cloud presents a challenge screen to the user on their Android phone, asking them to verify it's really them logging into the account.
The company in May first introduced the Android-based 2FA mechanism for log-in to Google and Google Cloud services from ChromeOS, Windows 10, and MacOS devices. Now, it can also be used to protect login attempts from iPads and iPhones.
Google's authentication is based on FIDO (Fast ID Online) security keys, which leverage public-key cryptography to verify both the user and login page URL, making it more difficult for an attacker who has stolen user credentials to abuse them.
Among the differences between the desktop environments and iOS systems is in the way the authentication appears to the user. To authenticate from a desktop, the user must launch a Chrome browser window to begin the login and initiate the 2FA process. In the iOS implementation, the Google Smart Lock app provides authentication for Google and Google Cloud applications.