It was back in April this year that Google enabled Android devices running version 7.0 and up to effectively double as a physical security key for accessing Google services like Gmail. The company is now expanding the same ability to iOS. This means that an Android device can now be used as a physical two factor authentication security key to verify log-ins made on iOS devices.
When the feature was first launched in this year, it only worked with Windows 10, macOS, and Chrome OS devices. However, the process is a bit different on iOS compared to these devices. It doesn’t use Chrome to communicate with the device, it Android device will use the Smart Lock app from Google instead.
Once everything is set up and a user logs into their Google account using an iOS device, the app then pings the Android device using Bluetooth. Users can then verify the log-in and that’s relayed back to the iOS device and the login then proceeds.
This requires that Bluetooth is enabled on both devices when the login is being made. Google has confirmed that this feature is widely rolling out starting today and is available to all G Suite editions. If two factor authentication or Security Key Enforcement is enabled for an organization, the Android phone will then be available as an option for security keys by default.