The iPhones security hardware can now be used to secure Google accounts, reports 9to5Google Wednesday. A new update for the iOS app Smart Lock ensures that the physical security key of the iPhone can be used to verify login attempts to Google services.
Users of the app receive a push notification on their iPhone when they try to log in to a Google service on their laptop, for example. Users must then unlock the iPhone and press a button in the Smart Lock app to be able to log in to Google.
The app uses the so-called Security Enclave of the iPhone, a screened part of the iPhone where security keys such as face recognition and fingerprint scans are stored. This is built into the iPhone.
The app also uses Bluetooth, users must be with their iPhone near the device on which they want to log in to Google. That makes the app a better security option than, for example, the Google Authenticator app, where the verification code is generated within the app instead of directly in the iPhone.
This way of logging in only works if the login attempt is made from the Chrome browser. Android users have been using this two-step verification method for some time.
See also: What is two-step verification and what should I do with it?