Google is improving security key support for iOS devices

Google is making changes to how it handles security keys with iOS devices, with the end result hoping to be making things easier for users.

On Wednesday, Google announced it is offering native support for W3C WebAuthn for Google Accounts on iOS devices. These devices will need to be running iOS 13.3 or newer. With this change, it should improve the overall security key experience on a supported iOS device, and should expand use of security keys with Google’s Advanced Protection Program.

Here are the major bullet points from today’s announcement:

  • Both the USB-A and Bluetooth Titan Security Keys have NFC functionality built-in. This allows you to tap your key to the back of your iPhone when prompted at sign-in.
  • You can use a Lightning security key like the YubiKey 5Ci or any USB security key if you have an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.
  • You can plug a USB-C security key in directly to an iOS device that has a USB-C port (such as an iPad Pro).
  • We suggest installing the Smart Lock app in order to use Bluetooth security keys and your phone’s built-in security key, which allows you to use your iPhone as an additional security key for your Google Account.

Having a physical security key is typically more protective of online accounts, even more so than two-factor authentication (2FA) because it requires that physical key to sign into an account. And this change will simply make using a physical security key easier, which is a good thing.

Do you use a physical security key? If so, do you like the experience?